How does lightning affect the electricity network?

When the electricity system is hit by lightning heavy-duty protection devices activate, which shut down sections of the network. These devices are essentially fuses and trips, similar to, but much larger than those found in domestic fuseboxes, and are located along the network mounted on poles and at substations.

Often a stretch of line will sustain multiple strikes, causing a large number of fuses to blow and trips to activate. These then need to be replaced and reset manually, but often a time consuming one which involves travelling along the network to make a thorough inspection.

A direct lightning strike can cause more extensive damage to electricity equipment, melting or destroying components such as transformers that convert high voltage electricity to lower voltages used in our homes.

For safety reasons our emergency teams are unable to work during the middle of a lightning storm. However, as soon as it is safe to do so they will assess the damage and begin repairs.

Often lightning affects electricity supplies to individual properties or small numbers of properties so if your neighbours are not off, you may need to let us know. We recommend that you check your property's trip switches first.

More information on reporting your power cut


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