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 its teams remain ready to support them following Met Office forecasts for freezing rain and snow from today (Wednesday 13) through to late evening on Thursday (14 January) across its operating area.
As part of a proactive approach to managing its network, teams at Northern Powergrid track weather forecasts daily through a number of channels. This intelligence is used to inform decision making to ensure the company has resources appropriately placed to be able to effectively respond to and manage the region’s power network should the forecasted weather impact its network and cause travel and access disruption across the region.
Forecasters are currently predicting potential snow fall of up to 10cm on low ground and up to 20cm in some higher areas. Freezing rain, particularly on higher ground across The Pennines in North Yorkshire could also bring an increased risk of ice build-up on power lines.
Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s head of operational performance improvement and the company’s major incident manager, said: "We always monitor the weather and are tracking this particular weather front very closely. We’ve taken action to ensure that we have extra teams available and our 4x4s and specialist access vehicles ready so we can restore power and carry out repairs if there is any disruption or damage to our network as a result of the wintery conditions.
“Our ‘always prepared’ approach means our teams will be continuously monitoring our operations 24/7 for any impacts so we can mobilise a response as soon as possible to support our customers. Being prepared is always important but particularly over the winter months and during these already challenging times for us all.
“Our network control engineers remain ready to restore power supplies to customers by diverting electricity through alternative routes on our network wherever possible and our dispatch teams will mobilise our frontline workforce to carry out any necessary local repair work using our COVID-19 Secure practices and procedures.”
In addition, Northern Powergrid is ready to use its specialist access equipment and fleet of 4x4 vehicles to help with site access where weather condition may make it more difficult to move around the region. It’s 24/7 contact centre will remain available with advisors ready to provide information, advice and support to customers who call 105, the free, three digit power cut number.
Northern Powergrid’s website, which has a power cut map and reporting tool, and its 24/7 social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter (@NorthPowergrid) will provide updates for customers. If customers spot any damaged overhead power lines or other equipment they must not approach the area and should report it immediately by calling 105.
Customers with a disability, medical condition or very young families, who may need greater assistance during a power cut and have signed up to the company’s Priority Services Membership, will be kept updated as a priority. Northern Powergrid’s customer support vehicles are also prepped and ready to go out into our local communities, where possible, to offer help on the ground to those who need it most.
The network operator’s safe and COVID-19 Secure working practices and robust operating protocols have meant that Northern Powergrid has been there for its customers 24/7, 365 days a year powering businesses, homes, hospitals, vaccine sites and supermarkets throughout the pandemic.
Power cut tips and advice include:
- bookmarking Northern Powergrid’s online power cut map and reporting service on their mobile devices – www.northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts
- having a charged mobile phone with important numbers, including 105, easily accessible
- turning off electrical appliances at the socket (this is particularly important for heating or cooking appliances as your power could be restored at any time and potentially cause a safety hazard)
- keeping one light switched on so you know when power is restored
- keeping a battery or wind-up torch handy – as they’re much safer than candles
- checking on your elderly or sick neighbours and relatives and consider joining Northern Powergrid’s free Priority Services Membership if you might be more vulnerable in a power cut – www.northernpowergrid.com/care
- ensuring you have warm clothing and blankets handy and some food and drink in your home that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it, and
- only call 999 in an emergency.