Following recent news coverage about underground faults on the electricity network in London we would like to reassure the public that the safety of our customers and staff is top priority for UK Power Networks and we are deeply concerned when anyone has been affected by our activities or equipment.
To keep London powered, we have about 100,000 cable boxes and 36,000km of cables under the streets and there are relatively few cases where our equipment has faulted. We regularly inspect, maintain and reinforce our network to ensure that London maintains its position as the most reliable electricity network in Britain.
Underground equipment can always develop a fault, but most of the time it has no external impact. Some events have involved gas or third party damage and were not necessarily just caused by an electrical fault.
We have placed significant investment in inspecting our pits and replacing equipment before it fails. We now have teams on London’s streets every day carrying out thousands of inspections on these boxes annually. They are checking for gas in the pits and inspecting the condition of the equipment and chambers. We are also trialling new pit covers.
Moving forward we are looking to spend around £1.5 billion over the next seven years to ensure that London’s electricity network continues to be the UK’s most reliable.