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Residents across Wales and the south west of England urged to Be Winter Ready

Posted on: 02/11/2017

Almost a quarter (23%) of people in Wales and the south west of England admit they aren’t prepared for winter weather as colder conditions roll in.

The figures have been released to coincide with Be Winter Ready Day – a new initiative run by gas network Wales & West Utilities, Western Power Distribution (WPD) and the country’s other electricity and gas networks, which aims to help the public be better-prepared if they have a power cut or gas emergency this winter.

The survey found that well over half (59%) of people in Wales and the south west of England think the reliability of the gas and electricity networks means they don’t have to prepare for winter as much as they used to. 50% don’t keep a torch in their house in case of a power cut, and 66% don’t take steps to get their boiler serviced in advance of winter.

Furthermore, 67% of residents across Wales and the south west don’t know who their local gas or electricity network operators are, with just 25% saying they prepare themselves for winter by finding out who to contact if their gas or electricity goes off.

The energy networks are calling on people in the region to follow these three steps to Be Winter Ready:

  • Know your free emergency numbers - in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.
  • Prepare your home - keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. Contact your gas or electricity network to find out more. Visit www.energynetworks.org to find out who your network operator is. In Wales and the south west of England your gas network is Wales & West Utilities, and your electricity network is WPD.
  • Keep your eyes open - keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, check on your neighbours.  

On the rare occasion power is interrupted or a gas emergency happens, our energy networks have engineers working around the clock to restore supplies safely and as quickly as possible, keeping customers regularly updated on the progress. It has never been easier to contact your gas or electricity network companies any time of the day or night for information and advice.

Wales & West Utilities Director of Operations Andrew Hopkins said:

“The gas network is safe, reliable and resilient but it is essential people across Wales and the south west of England are prepared for the worst that winter might bring. We’re proud to be working alongside WPD so we can continue to support the communities we serve – whatever the weather.”

WPD’s Network Services Manager Phil Davies said:

“Be Winter Ready is a further example of the electricity and gas networks working together to benefit customers. We’re delighted to be a part of the Be Winter Ready campaign and hope that the advice will help customers feel better prepared for whatever the winter weather brings.”

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:

“In recent years the chances of unplanned problems with electricity and gas supply have reduced dramatically. Since 1990, network companies have invested £80bn in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK. On average, electricity customers have a power cut just once every two years and gas customers will have their gas supply interrupted just once every 40 years.

“However, as the nights get colder and darker, the chances of severe weather increase. Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can sometimes cause damage to the electricity network and disrupt the energy supply. That’s why we are calling on people in Wales and the south west of England to Be Winter Ready and make sure they are prepared in case they have a power cut or gas emergency.”

For more information about the campaign, visit www.energynetworks.org and search ‘Be Winter Ready’.