Northern Powergrid



150325-Craft Apprenticeship Programme 2015 Cropped.jpgNorthern 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 are ready to respond should Storm Arwen have an impact on the region's power network and customers’ power supplies.

The Met Office forecast warns that Storm Arwen is expected to bring severe gales and wintry showers from midday tomorrow (Friday 26 November) through to Saturday afternoon – with the strongest winds predicted for the North East coastal area.

Northern Powergrid is closely tracking the storm and has ensured it has appropriate resources in place to respond to and manage the region's power network effectively should the forecasted severe gales impact its network.

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid's  major incident manager, said: "With a spell of challenging weather expected as a result of Storm Arwen, we have been busy putting plans in place  to ensure that we are as best prepared as possible. That involves putting resources in place right across our business to enable us to deal with a potential increase in the number of incidents on our network. We will be deploying resources throughout, safely and efficiently until we deal with the impact of the storm and restore power to all of our customers.

"We continually invest in maintaining and upgrading our network, however, weather conditions, particularly severe gales, can result in windborne debris and falling trees damaging our network, particularly overhead power line assets. We've got our fleet of 4x4 and other specialist access equipment on standby should the forecasted wintery showers make travel and site access difficult.

"Being there for our customers every day is what we do and our people understand the responsibility and vital role they play in powering people's lives.  We will continue to monitor the weather and our operations 24/7 for any impacts so we can react and mobilise a response safely and as soon as possible.

"Our network control engineers have capability to restore power supplies remotely, moving electricity through alternative routes on our network wherever possible to get customers back on supply. Our dispatch teams will mobilise our frontline workforce to carry out any necessary local repairs.

Northern Powergrid's website, which has a power cup map and a reporting tool, and its 24/7 social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter (@NorthPowergrid) will provide updates for customers.  The electricity distributor is also reminding anyone who spots any damaged overhead power lines or other equipment that they must not approach the area and should report it immediately by calling 105.

Its 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.

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 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.

Customers are asked not to approach Northern Powergrid's key workers unless it is an electricity emergency and if they do so they must maintain a safe distance at all times. 

Power cut tips and advice include:

  • bookmarking Northern Powergrid's online power cut map and reporting service on their mobile devices –
  • 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 –
  • 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.