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NORTHERN POWERGRID TRACKS FORECAST AND SUPPORTS CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY WINTERY WEATHER

15 January 2021

NORTHERN POWERGRID TRACKS FORECAST AND SUPPORTS CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY WINTERY WEATHER

15 January 2021

Northern Powergrid, the company that powers everyday life for 8 million people by delivering electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is reassuring customers that it’s tracking further forecasts for snow and wintery weather tomorrow and later next week.

Despite the recent freezing rain and snow, which made travel and access challenging for its teams over the last few days, Northern Powergrid’s network performed well and it continued to successfully deliver power to 99.7% of its customers.

Teams at Northern Powergrid are now actively tracking forecasts for potential snow of up to 10cm on higher ground and up to 3cm on lower ground across its operating area on Saturday (16 January). It is also tracking longer range forecasts for potential strong winds, snow and freezing temperatures over the coming weeks.

This intelligence is being used to inform decision making to ensure the company has resources appropriately placed so it can effectively respond to and manage the region’s power network should any forecasted weather impact its network or cause further travel and access disruption.

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s head of operational performance improvement and the company’s major incident manager, said: "Over the past few days we’ve seen some very challenging winter conditions, our network has performed well and for customers that did have an interruption to their power supply our teams were out there, working to overcome difficult travelling and on-site conditions.  Determination and commitment from our people – which saw some colleagues work into the early hours and new teams resume at first light this morning - meant that the small number of customers who were affected overnight as a result of the recent weather were able to be back on supply today. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank customers for being understanding at this very difficult time. The vast majority of our customers’ supplies did remain unaffected.”

Rod continued: “With more wintery conditions forecast we’re closely tracking the next band of weather.  Being prepared is vital, it is what we do, especially over the winter months, and it is particularly critical during the pandemic and current lockdown.

“Our teams and fleet of 4x4s and specialist access vehicles remains ready so we can respond if the Met Office forecasts should deteriorate from yellow alerts to amber at any point and we need to respond to any disruption or damage to our network.

“We are reminding local people that if they see our teams out and about in their communities, it’s because they are carrying out important work to manage and maintain our network so we can continue to power peoples’ lives, local businesses, hospitals and supermarkets.  We continue to use COVID-19 Secure working practices and robust operating protocols so we can be here for our customers 24/7, 365 days a year throughout the pandemic. We are classed as critical workers in terms of our day-to-day operations and are playing a vital part in powering the wider pandemic response, including vaccine sites. Our 24/7 contact centre also remains ready to provide advice and support to customers who call 105, the free, power cut number.”

If any customers do have an issue with their electricity supply they are encouraged to check Northern Powergrid’s online power cup map and reporting tool via their mobile, and can use its 24/7 social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter (@NorthPowergrid) which provide updates and advice. 

Customers who have a serious health condition, are medically dependent on electricity, of pensionable age, have very young children or have mental health or specific communication needs, and may need extra support in a power cut, should consider signing up to Northern Powergrid’s free Priority Services Membership. Customers can sign up friends or family – as well as themselves – at any time by visiting northernpowergrid.com/care or calling 0800 169 2996.

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