NORTHERN Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) has launched its ‘Preparing for Winter’ campaign which encourages domestic, business and agricultural customers to make the necessary preparations for the coming winter months.
Although NIE Networks invests over £100 million annually in maintenance and upgrades to ensure the continued resilience of the electricity network, they still want customers to think ahead as supply can be affected by natural events, with severe winter weather potentially causing significant damage.
NIE Networks has seen a rise in the number of storms it has responded to over the last decade, but despite the rise in adverse weather, ongoing investment means the network is performing to the highest standard, resulting in minimal disruption for customers.
Brian Sinclair, Safety Manager for NIE Networks, wants to ensure that every customer is winter ready, particularly those who are vulnerable or working in the agricultural sector:
“Ongoing investment is ensuring the network continues to perform to the high standard our customers expect as well as making sure we are as storm ready as possible.
“Although we minimise the loss of power where possible, we want customers to think ahead and get prepared. We particularly want customers who have critical health care needs, as well as those within rural communities and the agricultural industry, to take the necessary steps to ensure any duration of power cut is manageable.”
As part of the ‘Preparing for Winter’ campaign, NIE Networks have provided a power cut checklist which includes tips such as locating your trip switch, knowing your unique customer number, stocking up on battery powered lights and having the NIE Networks Customer Helpline number 03457 643 643 easily to hand.
“Broken overhead power lines, stays or poles can occur at any time and it is important, particularly for those working on the farm or operating heavy machinery, to be extra vigilant during these darker months. It is important that everyone is aware of the risks posed by damaged electrical equipment and how to respond. If you see anything unusual about our equipment, never approach it, always report it immediately on our Customer Helpline,” Brian added.
‘Powercheck’ on the NIE Networks website is another excellent resource. This provides customers with reliable and real time information about a power cut and the status of its restoration.
Customers dependent on life supporting medical equipment are encouraged to apply to the NIE Networks Medical Customer Care Register to receive regular information during a power cut.
For further information about what you can do to prepare for winter, the NIE Networks Medical Customer Care Register or to access Powercheck, please visit www.nienetworks.co.uk/winter