Lancashire's power provider slams reports that coronavirus will lead to electricity blackouts
The current coronavirus lockdown is not expected to cause power blackouts in Lancashire.
Electricity North West shot down reports in national newspapers that staff sickness during the coronavirus outbreak, mixed with the government’s self-isolation rules, could lead to a shortage of engineers.
A spokesman for Electricity North West said: “We’re aware of news articles today stating that power networks are warning that coronavirus may cause blackouts.
“This is not true. Our teams are working hard, as they always do, to keep your power flowing.”
The National Grid insists that the network is able to cope, while industry chiefs have described it as “one of the most reliable networks in the world”.
Steph Trubshaw, customer director at Electricity North West, said: “We know that many people will be working from home or self-isolating, and may also have children at home, meaning we’re all relying on electricity in our homes more than ever.
“We provide a critical service and the work we do is fundamental to the country’s effort in managing this pandemic well. We encourage people who are concerned about power cuts to contact us so that we can help.”
Engineers will also continue carrying out essential maintenance work on the network each day which will add resilience for the coming weeks and months.
To ensure that this work can be carried out safely, the firm is informing customers that engineers will sometimes have to remove power to homes and business while the work is carried out.
Ms Trubshaw continued: “We maintain 57,000km of overhead lines and underground cables, and not all of our maintenance work can be stopped or delayed as it is essential to us operating a safe and reliable power network. That means that some of our planned power cuts will still be going ahead, so that we can reduce the risk of unplanned power cuts in the future. Where possible we will reduce the impact on our customers by shortening the lenght of time your power is turned off.
“We are continuing to work with industry colleagues and Government to ensure that support and help is available for customers in the North West. Plans are in place to protect our customers and employees and we ask that if you are affected by a power cut and are self-isolating, to please contact us immediately and let us know so that we can help.”
In the event of a power cut, customers are asked to call 105 or visit the live power information pages here.