Storm Arwen in November 2021 was the worst storm we’ve experienced in decades. Although 96% of our customers were unaffected by the storm, around 189,000 properties were impacted and our teams had to work tirelessly to restore power to these customers, often in extremely challenging weather conditions.
Several reviews have been conducted since this storm by UK and Local Governments as well as the Energy Regulator OFGEM. In addition to this, companies across the UK have worked together cross sector to discuss areas for improvement for the future. SP Energy Networks also engaged former UK Energy Minister Rt Hon Charles Hendry CBE to lead a review of our operational response to Storm Arwen and focus on the rural communities worst affected.
Following these extensive reviews SP Energy Networks are working with other UK Network Operators to implement a package of recommendations made by various stakeholders for future improvements.
Areas of Improvement for 2022
Working cross Industry to review Infrastructure standards to increase the resilience of UK Electricity Networks
Identification of Faults on our Network
Working cross Industry to review fault identification procedures and how the use of technology can be used effectively
Training additional staff to assess damage on our network in severe weather, support customers on the ground and in our call centres
Reviewing mutual aid agreements across Network Operators in the UK to expand the types of staff that can be shared in large events and storms
Review the use of generators across all UK Network Operators to understand where this could be more effective
Planning worst case scenarios to update assumptions, ensuring sufficient capacity across IT platforms supporting call centres and web sites
Agreeing reporting criteria with OFGEM to ensure transparency of performance
Network Operators working with OFGEM to ensure the regulatory framework delivers the best outcome for customers
Review assumptions and processes supporting provision of customer restoration times to ensure these are as accurate as possible in severe weather
Review welfare support provided to our customers through extreme events and how we work with other organisations to support customers in the best way
Reviewing arrangements and processes for delivering compensations to customers in the most effective and timely way
Review communication methods to ensure we prepare customers ahead of winter
Review telecoms arrangements to ensure they are resilient during severe weather events
Preparation & Weather Forecasting
Share best practice across the UK Network Companies and work with the Met Office to ensure the optimum forecasting is used
Working with Resilience Partnerships to ensure Network Operators and Local Resilience Forums and Partnerships work together in severe weather events
Continuously improve the data we hold for our customers to ensure the best service can be delivered
Working with Landowners
Working with landowners to ensure tree cutting is planned where appropriate