Many are concerned about the ongoing Coronavirus public health issue and the way it has affected nearly every industry across the world.
We want to reassure you that, as the company responsible for distributing power to over 8.3 million properties across London, the South East and East of England, we know how important it is to keep electricity flowing to your home or business, especially during these uncertain times.
Our engineers are out as normal continuing their core role in maintaining your electricity network, and fixing any electrical faults that occur.
We have put into place a number of well-rehearsed contingency plans and precautions to ensure we maintain a good level of service, with high numbers of engineers and call centre staff available to support the ongoing situation.
With many of our customers now working from home and to support the wider UK economy through this very challenging period, from tomorrow evening (Friday 20th March), we will be cancelling most of our lower priority planned maintenance work. This is in order to avoid prolonged planned power cuts for people who are currently working from home.
If you or your constituents need information on a power cut, you can, as always, visit our Power Cut Map for live updates, tweet us at @UKPowerNetworks or telephone our customer service team, 24 hours a day, on 105 or 0800 3163 105. Calls are free from a landline or mobile phone.
Here are some of the practical steps we are taking:
· To ensure continued resilience in months to come, we have split key teams across different locations, and hundreds of call agents are equipped to answer customer queries while working from home
· All essential work will continue as normal, including fixing power cuts on the rare occasions they happen
· We’re postponing lower priority work on electricity cables and substations, as we recognise many people are working from home and we want to minimise disruption to their lives
· We are working with other network operators and trade associations to ensure we share best practice and focus on activities that safeguards power supplies
· We have engaged with our supply chain to ensure access to the equipment and supplies we need to keep the electricity flowing
What it means for you or your residents:
· If our engineers might need to enter your home to restore your power, we’ll ask you on the phone first if you are self-isolating so we can make the relevant arrangements
· National guidance has been given to our engineers, who will wear protective equipment, stay in a different room from people who are infected or self-isolating, and avoid touching surfaces
· If you live in London, the East or South East of England, then being on our Priority Services Register will ensure you will receive extra support if you experience a power cut.
· We understand that the coronavirus outbreak is a worrying time for many, and we want to make sure you have access to local services, should you need assistance during this unprecedented time.
· We are here for you 24/7 and there are over 20 ways to get in touch including our website, on Twitter @ukpowernetworks, or ring 105
We will continue to support those who need help the most during a power cut
· We continue to offer free additional tailored support and guidance to customers on our Priority Services Register if they experience a power cut, reliant on electronic medical equipment or with young children.
· For more information on our Priority Services Register, please visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority to register, or call us on 0800 169 9970.
Thank you for your support
This is a fast-changing situation, and we will continue to adapt so that the way we work ensures you, our customers, continue to receive the highest level of service.
We will keep you updated and will review the information on our website continuously to ensure you have the most up to date information.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very uncertain period.
Public Affairs Manager
UK Power Networks