SP Energy Networks Launches New Public Information Campaign as Survey Finds 46% of Customers Unprepared For a Power Cut


A new marketing, advertising and PR public information campaign from SP Energy Networks has been launched to help increase awareness amongst its customers on the best ways to stay safe and informed should they ever experience a power cut. It comes after a recent YouGov survey* found that almost half (46%) believe they are unprepared for a loss of power.

Currently, just 40 percent of SP Energy Networks customers would contact them should a fault occur; while 38 percent would incorrectly call the company they pay their bills to. Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) would do nothing but wait for the problem to sort itself.

While loss of power for most people is a rare occurrence, being unprepared for these events can put customers at risk and places additional strain on the emergency services, so it’s vital that customers take the time to prepare.

A direct result of SPEN’s customer and stakeholder feedback on the importance of this issue, the timing of the campaign is also particularly significant after the recent unprecedented weather conditions.

The biggest public information campaign ever undertaken by SP Energy Networks is seeing the company rolling out more than 150 roadside billboards, including one of the largest digital billboards in Europe, located in Liverpool. Further print advertising includes transport hubs and bus shelters as well as 1,000 buses across our areas of operation.

The campaign focuses on real SP Energy Networks engineers, operations teams and office based staff, highlighting the dedication and daily challenges, including the recent storms they overcame to provide electricity to over 3.5 million homes and businesses across Central and Southern Scotland, Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire.  Engineers were working in extremely challenging conditions to restore power, with maximum wind speeds reaching 109mph in some parts of the UK over the festive period.

The winter advertising campaign concentrates on SP Energy Networks’ key media regions with the aim to remind customers that in a power cut, they should call SP Energy Networks’ emergency hotline in their area. As the distributor of power to 3.5 million homes and businesses across the UK, it is SP Energy Networks that works to restore electricity supply as quickly as possible should a fault occur.

The winter campaign will also be leveraged through social media. Customers who experience power cuts can also get in touch with the organisation through @spenergynetwork via Twitter. All of the marketing material can be viewed on www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/powercut.

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said:

“Although our electricity network operates at a very high standard, power cuts can occur at any time for a variety of reasons, many outside the network operator’s control. This can include severe weather interruptions, to theft of substation metals and vandalism. Given the storms that we’ve seen in December, we would like to help more of our customers have the information they need to be prepared for any loss of power.

“We operate a 24-hour emergency response service and customers should contact us if they experience a loss of power. This will this help us to fix the problem quicker, and our expert staff can give advice and guidance to help customers until the fault is corrected. You can also Tweet us on @SPEnergyNetwork during working hours, and we can also contact customers by text messaging to keep them up to date.”

SP Energy Networks top tips for being prepared include:

  • Keep the emergency hotline number to hand and inform SP Energy Networks as soon as you experience problems with your electricity supply:

- Log onto the www.spenergynetworks.co.uk for all other general enquiries, or www.spenergynetworks.com/powercut for information on the winter campaign

  • If electricity is crucial to your health (for instance, if you use medical equipment at home) customers should ask to be included on the SP Energy Networks priority service register by contacting them on 0845 273 4444 or by emailing customer.care@sppowersystems.com

  • To register your mobile phone number for text updates, customers can call 0845 273 4444

  • Customers should check they have the following items in stock:

-    Torches with charged batteries or a wind up dynamo torch
-    Keep a battery power radio in your house, as you may be able to receive updates on any incident.
-   An analogue telephone – most modern phones rely on an electricity supply in addition to the phone line, but an analogue phone can work on just the phone line

SP Energy Networks has reduced the number of power outs in major storms by 75% since 1998 and their customers experience around 30% fewer power cuts than the UK average. From 2015 to 2023 SP Energy Networks plans to invest approximately £5 billion into the electricity network. To keep power supplies on the company currently manages over 110,000km of power cables and 30,000 substations across their network area.

For further information, additional comment, or free to use images, please contact Ailsa Herd / Chris Bone on 0131 526 3076 or spnetworks@stripecommunications.com

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 3207 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th-19th December 2013.  The survey was carried out online.

Notes to Editors:

  • Spokespeople and customer case studies are available for interview – please contact Ailsa Herd / Chris Bone on 0131 526 3076 or spnetworks@stripecommunications.com to arrange
  • SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is the licensed Electricity Distributor (DNO) for Central & Southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. We have 30,000 substations (one substation for every 100 customers), 40,000km overhead lines (once around the globe), and 70,000km underground cables.
  • SPEN also operates the Transmission Network in Central and Southern Scotland. They take electricity generated from power stations, windfarms and various other utilities and transport it through their vast transmission network, consisting of over 4000 kilometres of overhead and 320 kilometers of underground lines. They have 129 transmission substations in their network that help us to manage extra high voltage electricity supplies.
  • They are a substantial employer with a workforce of 3000 internal employees based at 17 locations in the South of Scotland and 17 locations in England and Wales. They engage around 5000 contractors across these areas.
  • They operate in three of the UK's largest cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Liverpool) accounting for 1.6m (43%) of their customers, as well as three significant rural areas (Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and North Wales).

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