As the nights get colder and darker, the chance of experiencing severe weather becomes more likely. Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can cause damage to energy infrastructure and disrupt supplies.
That’s why the UK’s gas and electricity network companies have come together to launch the Be Winter Ready campaign. The campaign aims to help the public better-prepare for power cuts and gas emergencies.
To Be Winter Ready, Energy Networks Association is urging everyone to:
- Know their free emergency numbers – in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.
- Prepare their home – keep a torch handy, install a carbon monoxide alarm, and get appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. Contact your gas or electricity network to find out more. Visit www.energynetworks.org to find out who your network operator is.
- Keep their eyes open – keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, check on your neighbours.
In recent years the chances of unscheduled problems with electricity and gas supply have dropped dramatically. Since 1990, network companies have invested more than £100bn in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK.
As a result, on average, electricity customers experience a power cut less than once every two years and gas distribution customers will have their gas supply interrupted without advance notice just once every 140 years. However, if a power cut or gas incident occurs it is vital that people are prepared.
David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:
The networks constantly review the resilience of infrastructure and there are robust plans in place to deal with the damage caused by extreme weather. However, we want the public to know there are things they can do to ‘Be Winter Ready’ and ensure that those customers who do have a power cut or gas emergency know exactly who to call so that they can get reconnected quickly and be as fully prepared as possible.
Over £100 billion has been invested by network companies since 1990 and we now have some of the safest and most reliable networks in the world. While the chance of severe weather remains, I would urge all those eligible to be prepared and sign up for additional support in case of emergency.