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Householders in Highlands told to be ready for winter power cuts

By Staff Reporter

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Winter weather from snow to storms can cause disruption to electricity supplies.
Winter weather from snow to storms can cause disruption to electricity supplies.

Electricity customers in the north of Scotland are being urged to prepare for possible disruption to energy supplies during the winter.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) says the number and duration of power cuts have reduced over the last 20 years but warns that extreme weather can play havoc with its supply network.

The network operator, which looks after power supplied in the north of Scotland as well as in central southern England, has teams in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to deal with maintenance and emergencies.

But it is also calling on customers to ensure they are ready as well, by encouraging neighbours or family members to sign up for its priority services register, downloading its Power Track app which gives details of faults and restoration times, and to save the 105 national power cut number to their mobile phones.

Colin Nicol, managing director, networks at SSEN, said: “Providing a safe and secure supply of electricity to the 3.8 million homes and businesses we serve requires a continuous programme of focused investment in our network, including major upgrades to the critical infrastructure people rely on every day.

“This rolling programme of investment means our network is resilient for the vast majority of the time – but extreme winter weather, including high winds, heavy snow, thunderstorms and lightning, has the potential to cause damage to our equipment and disrupt supplies.

“As a responsible network operator, we want to ensure our customers are prepared for the possibility of disruption and we’re encouraging everyone to take some simple, free steps to help improve their resilience so we can be ready together this winter and beyond.”

SSEN says it is investing around £220 million this year to upgrade and strengthen overhead lines, underground cables, electricity poles and substations, with around £10 million invested in automated technology to minimise disruption when faults occur.

Customers across the north are being urged to take steps to prepare for winter.
Customers across the north are being urged to take steps to prepare for winter.

The company says it is especially important for customers who may need extra help, including the elderly, disabled and families with small children, during a power cut to be prepared. Some people may rely on electricity for specialist or life-saving medical equipment such as a kidney dialysis machine or ventilator.

Its priority services register is open to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, have a disability, live with children under five, are blind or partially sighted, have a chronic illness, use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity or are over 60.

Registered customers are offered extra support during power cuts and SSEN’s teams will also keep in close and regular contact with them to check they are getting the help they need.

For more information on the support available from SSEN, and for helpful advice on preparing for and dealing with a power cut, visit ssen.co.uk/ready-together

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