“One of the most reliable networks in the world.”
The UK will face another drawback due to the current outbreak of the Coronavirus as Britons are being warned about potential power blackouts across the nation.
Due to self-isolation and staff sickness, energy firms have suspended all non-essential work and as a result, are gearing towards a possible scarcity in engineers.
Undoubtedly, sudden power cuts will cause problems in many households, in particular vulnerable residents.
Maintaining and owning electricity cables for three million homes in the South East, the East of England and London, the UK Power Networks devised a letter to its customers.
The letter, according to the Express was seen by the Daily Telegraph. It was addressed to customers on the network’s vulnerable register who were advised on how to stay safe and warm during a power blackout.
The vulnerable register includes people like pensioners, children under the age of five, disabilities and chronic ailments.
During a power blackout, it is important to have necessary items which will help reduce the impact of the power cut.
These include keeping a torch or if possible more than one with extra batteries, a battery-powered radio to hear the latest news with the WiFi and television down.
Keep household doors closed to prevent heat loss in unused rooms, dress in several layers including gloves, a hat and blanket.
Furthermore, in terms of mobile phone batteries, keep a power bank charger at hand.
Also, it is important to note during a power blackout ATMs may be down, therefore it is a good idea to have cash to hand in case of emergencies.
Power cuts can also result in not being able to cook if you have an electric cooker, hence, it is a good idea to have non-perishable and non-refrigerated foods. This will come in handy during lengthy power blackouts.
Another disadvantage of prolonged power cuts is the effect it can have on the city’s water purification systems. In case this happens, bottled water is a good option.
On the UK Power Networks website, they informed customers that they will be continuing with all essential work.
This includes power cuts. However, lower maintenance work like electricity cables and substations will be indefinitely postponed. It said:
“Put simply, our top two priorities are the safety of our staff and customers and keeping the light on, so that essential services are provided to our communities and that today’s high-tech lifestyles can continue.”
The website further added that if their assistance is required in homes of their customers, engineers will wear protective equipment, avoid touching surfaces and will stay in a different room from those who are infected with the virus.
This latest warning comes after the government’s guidelines concerning all non-essential work.
The National Grid (owner of the UK’s electric power transmission network) has reassured customers it can manage with the demand during the lockdown. It said:
“We have well-developed procedures in place to manage the effects of a pandemic.”
“We have asked all our employees who do not need to be onsite to work from home where possible, in line with government guidance.
“This measure has been introduced to limit the spread of the virus, protect the health and safety of all our people and ensure those in operational roles can continue to do their jobs.”
UK Executive Director for the National Grid, Nicola Shaw, explained how people should not be concerned as more people are staying at home. She said:
“In fact, demands across the country is expecting to reduce; largely owing to a decrease in energy use from industrial consumers, which is likely to be greater than the increase in domestic demand as people stay at home.”
According to industry chiefs, Britain’s power network is “one of the most reliable networks in the world.”
Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, David Smith, also reassured people. He said:
“It is supported by stringent contingency plans and a workforce of 36,000 people.
“We’re keeping your energy flowing during the coronavirus pandemic and the work is operating exactly as it should.”
During this uncertain time, it is important to take precautionary measures as advised by the authorities.