Our Maintenance Programme
Keeping Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) running is a 24/7 business. Our maintenance programmes run summer and winter. However, we try to schedule planned interruptions to cause least inconvenience to our customers. We do this by:
- Changing the network prior to planned work to ensure the outage affects the minimum number of customers
- Where possible, we fit a generator at the local substation. We do not fit generators in individual homes or businesses.
- Our lines teams use techniques to work on the network when it is still live. Find out more on how our live line teams work
When do we plan work to the electricity network?
When we are unable to use these options, we have to schedule planned interruptions and notify customers that their electricity will be off for a short period. The majority of planned interruptions affect domestic customers and are carried out during daytime working hours. However, in some circumstances we may have to work outside normal working hours and at weekends to complete our programme of work. Where possible, we will shorten planned interruptions, restoring electricity supplies earlier.
Planned Interruptions - What to do
- Know where your household fuses and trip switches are located.
- Keep a supply of batteries for radios, torches and candles in the house.
- Have a battery-powered or wind-up radio to hand.
- Check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours or relatives. Customers dependent on electrical equipment for healthcare should join our critical care register.
- Make sure you have a charged mobile to hand with all important numbers stored
- Keep your freezer door closed and cover with a blanket, helping to keep it cold.
Customers dependent upon electricity for healthcare needs
If you are a customer on our critical care register, we will keep in contact with you or your nominated carer. You can join our register online or contact our customer helpline on 03457 643 643.
What is planned work?
At Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks), we have teams of engineers and linespeople working on our network everyday to maintain, upgrade and extend our network to connect new homes and businesses.
To enable our teams to work safely, we sometimes cut electricity supply temporarily to parts of our network. In some circumstances this will leave groups of customers without power for a short period.
Why do you need to cut your electricity supply?
To enable our employees to work safely, there are several reasons why we need to plan a cut to your electricity supply for a short period, including maintaining and refurbishing overhead lines and underground cables, connecting new customers, both domestic and business, to the network and carrying out emergency repairs.
How will I know if there is planned work in my area?
We will notify you when any planned work will affect your home or business and give you a minimum of three days notice before we turn off your electricity for planned work. Where possible we will give you more notice.
How will you notify me?
You should receive a postcard from NIE Networks that provides you with the times and dates of the planned work. If you have any queries, you can contact our customer helpline on 03457 643 643.
What should I do to prepare for the power cut?
You should make alternative arrangements for your electricity supply while programmed work on the electricity network takes place. Read our tips on how to prepare for your electricity to go off for planned work.
How can I avoid interruptions to my power supply?
If you feel you cannot do without electricity during daytime working hours you may wish to invest in a generator. Businesses should include planned and unplanned interruptions of electricity supplies in their business risk contingency plans. Should you decide to use a generator, for safety reasons it is essential that it is connected by an NICEIC approved electrician.
Planned Power Cuts Factsheet
This factsheets provides information on why we plan work on the network and what you can do to prepare if you are notified of planned work.