SP Energy Networks has enacted contingency plans to ensure 3.5 million homes and businesses maintain their electricity supply throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The electricity distributor has introduced special measures to protect supply for critical national infrastructure and public service sites; including hospitals, nursing homes, food supply chain businesses, Ministry of Defence sites, and prisons.

The UK has one of the most reliable electricity networks in the world and the contingency plans SP Energy Networks has developed alongside other network operators, government and electricity regulator Ofgem, will ensure power continues to flow throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Other major changes the company is putting in place include:

  • Rapid installation of new connections that will support the containment of COVID-19 including connections for hospitals, care/nursing homes, water treatment works and food supply chain business.
  • A commitment to continue any critical maintenance and repair work that secures the resilience of the electricity network in the short and medium term to keep the power flowing – prioritising power cuts and urgent safety issues.
  • Postponement or cancellation of new network upgrade projects that involve planned interruption of power for customers – unless it assists the restoration of power supply or if not conducting the work poses a danger to the public/staff/contractors or it supports short or medium term resilience requirements.
  • Deployment of teams to undertake connections projects that will provide additional resilience to the local or national electricity network – such as additional generation capacity to provide more electricity where it is needed.

These changes will be implemented with immediate effect across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, North Shropshire, and Central and Southern Scotland.

The company has also established social distancing measures and rolled out additional processes for critical frontline operational staff and control centre teams who cannot undertake their key roles from home to ensure they can maintain operations in the event of a localised outbreak of coronavirus.

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks said: “We have one of the most reliable energy networks in the world and our top priority throughout the COVID-19 crisis will be to keep the power flowing for our 3.5million customers while ensuring critical national infrastructure sites receive the electricity supply they need.”