Supporting our customers
A power cut isn't an everyday occurrence for our customers, thanks to investment in our network, but if it does happen our first priority is to restore supplies as soon as possible.
In situations where a customer is vulnerable and may be without power for more than six hours, we can offer a range of support services depending on the nature of the fault.
In a long-duration power cut we also work with local partners, like local authorities and community groups, in addition to seeking to provide a range of our own discretionary welfare support services which go beyond what network operators are required to provide by the industry regulator Ofgem.
Don't forget, if you - or someone you know - might need extra advice or support due to medical or personal circumstances, it's important to join our free Priority Services Membership today so we know about your needs if your supply is ever interrupted in the future.
Priority Services Membership
If you might need extra support or advice in a power cut due to your personal or medical circumstances you may benefit from joining our free Priority Services Membership.
If you, or someone you care for, needs the power on for medical reasons, are elderly, sick, disabled, have trouble communicating or have young children to look after, you could become a member.
Our commitment to you
We have a range of discretionary welfare support services that we can provide depending on the situation. For example, this may include:
- customer support vehicles in communities,
- provision of hot food,
- facilities to charge mobile phones, and
- alternative accommodation.
This will be led by our Pro-active Customer Service Responders and 24-hour contact centre team.
Working in partnership
In addition to our own discretionary welfare support arrangements for customers affected by a long-duration power cut, we work with a range of local resilience partners and community groups who can provide welfare support if your power may be affected for an extended period, e.g. following severe weather and network damage.
We work with British Red Cross to support our most vulnerable customers. We also work with local resilience partners, such as local authorities and emergency services, who are responsible for coordinating support to local people in an emergency. We work in partnership with them and offer location guidance to ensure any support provided benefits the most customers.
Proactive customer service
As part of our commitment to improving our customer service support we've introduced Pro-active Customer Service Responders to our team.
As part of their role they will work in local communities to help deliver on-site welfare support and advice to customers if their electricity is ever affected by a long-duration power cut.
This includes mobilising our customer support vehicles, coordinating Northern Powergrid's local discretionary welfare support services, where appropriate and possible, and will work with other local resilience partners, such as local authorities and community groups, involved in setting up support in communities during wider-scale events e.g severe weather and significant network disruption.
National Catering Association
We have a working partnership with the Nationwide Catering Association (NCASS) as part of our discretionary welfare support services.
Through our partnership, NCASS can help coordinate local food van providers to reach out to our communities and provide hot food and refreshments to customers who may be affected by a long-duration power cut caused by significant disruption to our network e.g severe weather events.