So you’re sat in the dark after a power cut but what do you do? Who should you be calling in the candlelight when your electricity fails?
Only 20% of people know who to call in the event of a power cut, the majority turning incorrectly to their energy supplier.
Northern Powergrid is raising awareness with its “Don’t be left in the dark” campaign showing how to report a power cut, seek advice and be prepared. Its head of stakeholder and customer engagement Siobhan Barton explains:
“We want customers to know that we are the people that will get their power back on and are there for them day or night, whatever the weather. With our online power cut reporting service and 24-7 customer service on Facebook and Twitter, you can get information on your mobile, as well as through our local contact centre.”
While power cuts are rare, there are concerns about blackouts thanks to a diminishing power supply capacity margin, as the electricity system is under pressure from high demand and low supply. If a surge comes due to a bad winter then blackouts will be probable.
To find out who to call if you’ve had a power cut, Business Juice have compiled a list of contacts by region so you can report the issue as quickly as possible. We advise customers to take a note of the relevant contact details for their region and to keep it handy in case the worst happens.
So why isn’t there enough electricity for everyone?
Many coal-fired plants are being forced to close down in line with environmental legislation on carbon emissions (The EU set a target of 15% renewable energy by 2020) while new clean plants are not being developed quickly enough to replace the supplies.
National Grid, however reassure us that they can deal with any potential issues:
“We’ve managed similar margins previously without any disruption to supplies but we’re not complacent. Even if the unexpected happens, we believe we have the right mix of tools and services to manage the network this winter.”
While we have confidence in National Grid, we expect the threat of blackouts to have a direct impact on energy prices going forward. Households will be expected to fund subsidies to new gas power stations to increase capacity and avoid darkness so now is a good time to lock in your business gas or electricity contract and protect your company against future energy price hikes.