As the winter weather continues, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor, is well prepared for ice, snow and freezing temperatures – despite the impact of Covid-19 and the challenges that it brings.
Throughout last year, NGN maintained its high standard of consistent service to customers across Yorkshire, the North East and northern Cumbria.
In 2020, NGN emergency gas engineers attended 99.96 percent of reported gas escapes within two hours and responded to more than 25,000 emergency call outs.
The increase in home working over the past year has meant that a dependable gas supply is more important to customers than ever before.
By replacing 400km of ageing metal gas mains with new pipes last year, NGN is ensuring that the network is in the best shape possible to keep the gas flowing; particularly during the winter months.
As the rapid response team when a smell of gas is reported, NGN engineers are ready 24/7 to help in a gas emergency and to carry out safety-critical repairs, with the Customer Care Team on hand to give help and advice.
NGN is also giving customers advice about the simple steps that they can take to keep safe and warm during the winter months:
- The current lockdown has no effect on our emergency response. Our workforce is in place to come out anytime, day or night, to carry out emergency and safety-critical repairs which will keep the gas flowing. If you need us, get in touch
- If you smell gas in your home or in the street, or suspect that there might be carbon monoxide present, call the freephone National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999 straight away. A gas engineer will be sent out to you, and the number is available 24 hours-a-day
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast and if you have a loss of gas supply or a power cut, check on your neighbours at a safe distance
- Our Customer Care Team is on hand if you have problems with your gas supply. Call us and we will always help. The number is 0800 040 7766
- Don’t cancel or postpone a gas appliance service if you have booked one with a registered gas engineer but do check that they have measures in place so that they can follow the latest Government guidelines for safe working indoors. It is still important that your gas appliances, including boilers, are checked once a year to make sure that they are safe, and not releasing gas or potentially fatal carbon monoxide. If you book through the Gas Safe Register, all its listed gas engineers will carry out an assessment before doing any face-to-face work, to keep customers and themselves as safe as possible. Their website is at gassaferegister.co.uk
- If you think that you could benefit from extra support if you have problems with your gas supply at home, sign up for the free Priority Services Register. By signing up to the Register, you will be seen as a priority customer if your gas supply is interrupted: this could mean NGN providing you with alternative heating and cooking facilities, sharing information in your preferred language, or arranging a visit by a Dementia Friend. The Register is aimed at customers who are of pensionable age, have long-terms health conditions or are parents with children under five. Register at northerngasnetworks.co.uk by searching for Priority Customers.
While the national lockdown is in place, we have reduced our planned works to include only emergency and safety-critical projects. The work we are carrying out in the street is urgent work that needs to be completed to ensure a safe and reliable supply of gas to the area.
Our engineers will only work inside customers’ homes when it is absolutely necessary and will follow strict Government guidelines for safe working, including wearing full PPE when required.
Ian Waddle, Head of Customer Operations at NGN, said: “Our customers are coping with the difficulties with a national lockdown at the same time as the challenges of cold, snowy and icy weather.
“We are committed to ensuring that the North is ready for more cold winter weather and the work we did in 2020 to upgrade the gas network means that more customers will have a gas supply to their homes and businesses that they can depend on. And we’re still here, ready to help and support all our customers through the next few months.”
For more advice and information, go to www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk and search for Winter Ready.