CONTINGENCY plans have been drawn up by SP Energy Networks to ensure 3.5million homes and businesses, including Warrington, maintain their electricity supply throughout the coronavirus crisis.
The plans being implemented by the electricity distributor also introduce special measures to protect supply for critical national infrastructure and public service sites; including hospitals, nursing homes, food supply chain businesses Ministry of Defence sites and prisons.
The UK has one of the most reliable electricity networks in the world and contingency plans developed by SP Energy Networks alongside other network operators, Government and electricity regulator Ofgem will ensure power continues to flow throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Other major changes that SP Energy Networks is putting in place include:
Rapid installation of new connections that will support the containment of COVID-19 including connections for hospitals, care/nursing homes, water treatment works and food supply chain business.
A commitment to continue any critical maintenance and repair work that secures the resilience of the electricity network in the short and medium term to keep the power flowing – prioritising power cuts and urgent safety issues.
Postponement or cancellation of new network upgrade projects that involve planned interruption of power for customers – unless it assists the restoration of power supply or if not conducting the work poses a danger to the public/ staff/ contactors or it supports short or medium term resilience requirements.
Deployment of teams to undertake connections projects that will provide additional resilience to the local or national electricity network – such as additional generation capacity to provide more electricity where it is needed.
These changes will be implemented with immediate effect across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, North Shropshire, and Central and Southern Scotland.
As a critical operational business, SP Energy Networks has already established social distancing measures and rolled out additional processes for critical frontline operational staff and control centre teams who cannot undertake their key roles from home to ensure they can maintain operations in the event of a localised outbreak of coronavirus.
Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks said: “We have one of the most reliable energy networks in the world and our top priority throughout the COVID-19 crisis will be to keep the power flowing for our 3.5million customers while ensuring critical national infrastructure sites receive the electricity supply they need.
“We’ve already put huge changes in place to keep our staff safe and redeployed them on priority projects that will support the UK’s national effort to tackle the coronavirus. If you see us outside your home or we visit your property during the coronavirus emergency, please be assured we are there because it is critical.
“It’s absolutely essential our network holds up against storms and high winds so our teams are working to maintain and strengthen the resilience of the network we all rely on to take us through this storm season and beyond.
“We know that now, more than ever you are relying on us to keep you safe and warm by ensuring the power continues to flow and we are committed to doing just that.”
Customers who have received a letter from the NHS advising them that they are ‘at risk’ and should take additional measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 are being advised to sign up for the Priority Services Register. This provides free additional services to customers in vulnerable circumstances if there is an unexpected power cut. They should sign up at spenergynetworks.co.uk or text PSR to 61999.
In the event of a power cut, customers should call the national 105 hotline no matter who they pay their bill to. For more information about SP Energy Networks, please visit: spenergynetworks.co.uk