Severe weather can present many challenges for our network. We have robust contingency plans in place to ensure that our entire critical supply infrastructure is safe and in good condition and continually invest in our network.
In 2015/16 we invested £130 million which included updating and replacing our assets. Following the floods in Winter 2015/16 we also developed an £11 million investment programme to assess all our pipe bridges over rivers and strengthen them where required and ensure resilience during future storms.
We are fully prepared for the challenging weather conditions that the winter brings and circulate daily company-wide weather updates so that immediate action can be taken if bad weather is expected.
Our Severe Weather Guidance document sets out our winter weather strategy, and we have a dedicated Winter Incident Controller, Winter Incident Coordinator and Manager.
We have additional operational staff ready to deal with any gas network issues and have an additional pool of Operational Response Engineers trained and on standby if we need them, supported by our customer care team who are available 24/7.
We have access to a pool of 4×4 and multi-terrain vehicles all of our operational vehicles have winter tyres, should we need to get to remote, snowbound locations and all trees on our site boundaries were inspected and felled before the winter to avoid storm damage.
We employ extra maintenance staff to carry out site checks during evenings and weekends to check conditions. Flood protection has been installed to protect our key assets and we are remotely monitoring all of our critical supply equipment.
We use helicopters to check our network of high pressure pipelines to pinpoint any areas that might need action and complete regular surveys of vulnerable bridge and river crossings.
We also have mutual aid agreements with neighbouring distribution networks, so that we can help each other out if we encounter severe weather.
Despite all of our efforts, severe weather can sometimes cause loss of gas supply. Here are a few tips if your gas supply is interrupted:
– Call the National Gas Emergency Service – 0800 111 999
– Turn the gas off at the emergency control valve if possible, unless the meter is located in the cellar or basement
– Switch off all gas and electrical appliances and do not turn lights on or off
– Don’t smoke, light a match or any other naked flame
– Open all doors and windows
– Check to see if your neighbours are ok
– Keep a blanket near you
– Wrap up warm