Keeping the power flowing

When developing our 2017 to 2024 plans
for the electricity network, our customers
told us that they found being without power,
even for short periods, was frustrating and
disruptive. They suggested that reducing
power cuts was the most important
improvement that we could make to our
service.

Keeping the power flowing

When developing our 2017 to 2024 plans for the electricity network, our customers told us that they found being without power, even for short periods, was frustrating and disruptive. They suggested that reducing power cuts was the most important improvement that we could make to our service.

So we’ve taken that on board. But we know that it would be impossible to stop power cuts completely. Particularly with a largely rural network which is two-thirds overhead lines and exposed to the elements. Keeping that in mind, we developed a two-pronged approach to react as quickly as possible when power cuts do happen but also to proactively manage parts of the network where we are seeing regular faults.

We're working to a number of ambitious targets to improve our service:

  • Reducing the number of minutes that customers are without power. In order to deliver these targets, our fault and emergency teams have reorganised their response on a geographical basis to make sure that resources are available on site quicker.  Every second counts when working to tough response times and so the less travel time required the better.
  • Network engineers have also been carrying out detailed surveys on specific parts of the electricity network where there are higher than normal numbers of outages. These surveys highlight potential problem areas such as vegetation growing close to electricity lines or equipment problems. With this information, engineers are pulling together targeted plans for specific parts of the network. This information is then being shared with customers and maintenance work programmed.
The service improvement delivered by our engineers on the ground is supported by a major investment and upgrade in our IT systems which help us to track faults remotely. This video explains more:
 

Improved response times

This two-pronged approach has been in place for the last eighteen months and although there is a lot more work to do – we’re starting to see result:
  • We have improved our response time with power restored to at least 90% of customers within three hours of a power cut happening. This is a 3% improvement on our previous performance.
  • Our overall restoration standard with 99% of our customers now having power restored within 18 hours. Our previous target was based upon getting customer supplies restored with 24 hours. There are month to month variances in this performance but we’re pleased to see an overall trend emerging of increased network reliability and an improvement in service for our customers.

Read more about what we're doing