14 Nov 2023

Storm North West Utility

Engineers working to restore properties affected by Storm Debi

Snapped electricity pole nr Carnforth, Lancs

Engineers from Electricity North West are working to restore power to the final few properties affected by Storm Debi.  

Yesterday, winds surpassing 70mph saw fallen trees and windborne debris cause damage to the power network with more than 50 separate incidents recorded.  

Hundreds of engineers from the region’s power network operator were prepared and worked throughout the day and into the night restoring power to more than 23,000 properties.  

Mark Mercer, Electricity North West’s incident manager, said: “We made tremendous progress yesterday and through the night restoring power to 99% of properties which have been interrupted by Storm Debi.  

“Teams have encountered some challenging conditions, with extreme weather and multiple hazards including trees on overhead lines. In many cases our investment in automation has allowed remote restoration of supplies whilst our skilled tree cutters and engineers attended site to make it safe. 

“This morning, we’ve deployed teams who are already working on the remaining few faults, and we expect power to be restored to those affected this afternoon.  

“As always, should anybody ever see any damage to the power network, please stay clear and report the incident to us on 105.” 

Prior and throughout Storm Debi, Electricity North West proactively contacted more than 112,000 customers on its Extra Care Register by making calls and sending text messages. Its call centre also handled 3,421 inbound calls with an average wait time of just 38 seconds.  

Electricity North West’s automation on its network also played a crucial role during Storm Debi as approximately 50 per cent of customers had power restored in under three minutes.  

“We’ve invested heavily in a variety of technologies which are really helping in such storm situations. In many cases this allows quick and effective restoration of our customers via alternate circuits’,” added Mark Mercer. 

“On multiple occasions over the past 24 hours, we have seen more complex damage which requires repair work to be completed on site. 

“But our automation has been pivotal in ensuring power has been restored to as many customers as quickly as possible.” 

Compensation rules for power cuts, including during storms, are set nationally by Ofgem. In a 'category one' storm you can claim £80 compensation if you have been without power for more than 24 hours. Electricity North West will verify every claim based on network data.  

More information including how to apply is available here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/check-compensation-rules-power-cut-or-supply-problem