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Christmas storm update - Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive

Posted on 24 January 2014 05:20 PM by Scars1B

It’s been a month since the Christmas storm damaged our networks and left thousands of properties without power – which was hugely inconvenient and upsetting for many people at that particular time of year. I would like to say again that I am very sorry to everyone who was without power, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

As you may be aware, more than 460,000 properties in the East and South East (the areas where we deliver power, along with London) had their power supplies interrupted. We restored power to over 95% within 24 hours, however thousands were still without power over the festive period due to the sheer scale of the damage caused to our 46,000km of overhead power lines. Regrettably, due to the storm hitting all of the UK we couldn’t get engineers from other parts of the country as we would usually do.

I am very proud of the response from our staff, of whom 850 gave up their own Christmas Day to help colleagues restore power to those who were off supply and keep customers informed. Our staff live and work in your communities and are dedicated to keeping the lights on.

As our customer, you are at the heart of our business and I appreciate how disruptive it is to be without electricity for any period of time. All our efforts, therefore, were focused on reconnecting power supplies in the quickest ways that were safely possible.

Now our attention is focused on seeing what we can do better the next time we experience exceptional damage to the electricity networks. We always carry out reviews after major incidents and look for ways to improve.  We are working with DECC and Ofgem and the other power distribution companies, to explore the lessons learnt by the industry, and how we can all improve our services to customers. We have also commenced an internal review conducted by independent and expert consultants.

It has been a difficult time and all of us at UK Power Networks are determined to continue working to ensure we deliver the best in customer service. If you have any queries or concerns about a power issue, please contact us on 0800 028 4587 or contact us here.

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