We have worked with members, the government and the industry regulator over several years to ensure the overall resilience of the energy networks is maintained and, where necessary, improved.
This has been achieved through programmes designed to update the overall resilience of the network to threats and improve energy network operators’ response to problems while providing a much-enhanced level of customer service and information.
Improving network resilience together
We facilitate several groups including the overarching ENA Resilience and Emergency Coordination Group (RECG) which oversees current working groups that are dedicated to maintaining and improving network resilience and response to network emergencies.
Resilience and emergency planning groups
We facilitate emergency planning through member-only groups, the Resilience and Emergency Coordination Group (RECG) and the Emergency Planning Managers’ Forum (EPMF), where resilience and emergency planning initiatives are continually improved to provide you with a reliable energy service during both normal and emergency conditions.
Our members also facilitate various temporary sub-groups that are dedicated to maintaining and improving network resilience and response to network emergencies.
NEWSAC Mutual Aid
The NEWSAC (North East South West Area Consortium) agreement details the application and co-ordination of mutual aid between network operators in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Isle of Man during and after network electricity supply emergencies, for example major storms.
Mutual aid includes the transfer of field resources and supplies between network operators in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Isle of Man (including National Grid).
The agreement is subject to reviews at NEWSAC meetings convened in the spring and autumn. The spring meeting considers any learning points from winter events and the autumn meeting is an opportunity to prepare for the winter ahead.
National security risk assessment documents
Companies are responsible for the safety and security of the electricity distribution network. If distribution plant and equipment are damaged or disrupted by natural hazard event or technical failure, it is the companies’ responsibility to restore supplies and carry out repairs as quickly and safely as possible.
The National Security Risk Assessments detail the risk of these hazards, the likely impacts, and the planning and mitigation done to reduce these impacts. They are subject to annual updates and are reviewed following a severe event.
We oversee a number of documents especially related to communication with customers, government and industry regulators. Communication plans are critical to combating national and regional emergency incidents. They are important to the integrity of the networks and deliver robust business continuity and network resilience planning. These plans are key to providing guidance and procedures to enable network operators fast, coordinated and consistent messaging internally and externally regarding energy emergencies.
Electricity Supply Emergency Code (ESEC)
ESEC contains the prescribed actions which the UK Government shall take in a civil emergency.
The actions within the ESEC document are not meant for use in sudden shortfalls in generation, or to deal with day-to-day repair and recovery of faulty or damaged parts of the transmission and distribution networks. Such matters are handled by National Grid in its role as owner of the National Electricity Transmission System in Great Britain and the Distribution Network Operators using powers available to them in the Grid Code and/or in company emergency recovery plans.
Rota Load Disconnection (RLD)
The UK power supply is well maintained and reliable but should there ever be a sustained and widespread loss during the recovery period the Secretary of State can call a National Energy Emergency which will introduce a planned programme of periodic, localised connection and disconnection until the network is stabilised. This emergency will use the rota load disconnect guide found in the ESEC document appendixes. There is a robust and agreed communication plan for the government and network operators to use when disseminating information to you.
We also monitor specific hazards and groups are convened when there is a change in risk or a change in scientific or government guidance. These groups include:
- Flooding Resilience Working Group (ETR138)
- Ash Die Back Task Group (monitoring tree health and managing vegetation)
- Climate Change Adaptation Reporting Group (CCARG)
Industry and stakeholder engagement
Engagement with interested parties plays an important role in maintaining resilient networks. We work closely with the government through the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Energy Emergencies Executive Committee (E3C) and its sub-groups to review and develop resilience planning and application.
E3C is made up of representatives from across industry and government including BEIS, Ofgem, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), Distribution and transmission network operators, generators and suppliers and gas distribution network operators.
We support the E3C by providing the secretariat for the Electricity Task Group (ETG), The Gas Task Group and we chair the Communications Task Group (CTG). We also provides support to workshops held by these Task Groups.