I am increasingly worried about vulnerable residents and families affected by the ongoing unplanned power outages in the Larkholme area of Fleetwood.
Hundreds of homes have been hit by three power cuts in as many days, and Electricity North West need to urgently get a grip on this situation.
It is curious that some residents received an “Extra support during a power cut” leaflet from the company in the days prior to the unplanned power outages, and I hope they can shed some light on the issue and what they are doing to fix it.
I have written to the chief executive asking for action, better support for vulnerable residents, and compensation for those affected households. You can read my letter below.
I have also spoken with Fleetwood’s Lancashire County Councillor Lorraine Beavers, who I know has offered her assistance to local residents and has been providing some reassurance that we’re trying to get this resolved as quickly as possible.
If your power goes off again, or you are still without electricity supplies, please call Electricity North West on 105, and keep up to date with any ongoing outages on their website at: https://www.enwl.co.uk/power-cuts/power-cuts-power-cuts-live-power-cut-information-fault-list
UPDATE: 5th January 3.45pm
I have now been contacted by Electricity North West to advise:
“The recent fault that has affected the area is what is known as a ‘Transient’ fault. This type of fault causes power cuts, but is no longer there when the power comes back on. So, it’s not clear which part of the electricity cable needs fixing.
Our engineers managed to locate the fault on a section of the High Voltage (HV) network and were able to restore electric supplies by reconfiguration of the network whilst repairs were carried out. This then brought to their attention a secondary fault on the same section of network, and the reason for the power going off again.
I have investigated this and can confirm that all supplies have been restored again via further reconfiguration of the network and permanent repairs on the network began on the 4 January 2024, it will take several days to complete both repairs. This will then stop any future power cuts relating to this fault.
Like other Distribution Network Operators across the UK, we rely on customers letting us know when their power is lost so that we can mobilise our on-site staff to identify and fix the problem as quickly as possible. If any of your constituents find themselves in a power cut that is not planned, please contact us on 105 to speak to our emergency contact centre. We can link them into our bespoke messaging service which will keep them up to date with the latest fault information, estimated time of restoration and useful hints and tips for keeping safe whilst they are without power. This information is also available through our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Electricity North West Limited (ENWL) also offer an Extra Care Register (ECR), this is a service we provide to our customers who may need a little more support in a power cut. Our ECR provides us with their preferred contact information, so if we’re aware of a planned power cut or fault in their area, we can reach out and check if they need a little extra help. They can register by calling us on 105, or online here Extra Care (enwl.co.uk)
In regard to compensation, we’re regulated by Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (OfGEM), so we follow the Guaranteed Standards of Customer Service for power cuts. The rules set out by our regulator, OfGEM, highlight that ENWL must make customers a payment if we are unable to re-energise the network within 12 hours from the time that we were made aware of the fault. It is £90.00 for the first 12 hours and £40.00 for every 12 hours after this. Should a customer be eligible for a regulated payment, ENWL will proactively contact them.
While I appreciate the power cuts your constituents have experienced are inconvenient and frustrating, I can assure you that ENWL is doing everything possible to resolve this and consistently review areas of the network that require improvement.”
Unfortunately Electricity North West will only offer compensation after 12 hours of a power outage, and although the permanent fixes will take place over the next few days I am hopeful that this will bring an end to the issues residents have been experiencing.
If you or anyone you know needs adding to their Extra Care Register (ECR) please call the company on 105, or register online here Extra Care (enwl.co.uk).