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21/01/14: North West power company ‘not complacent’ over Boxing Day storms

The region’s power network operator today assured customers that it constantly works to improve its service, by reducing power cuts and improving restoration times and customer communication.

Great Britain’s electricity network companies were accused of complacency by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee regarding their response to storms in December when winds of more than 100mph hit the North West.

Speaking after the committee, Steve Johnson, Chief Executive Officer for Electricity North West, said: “We really do understand the inconvenience caused by power cuts – especially those over the holiday period.

“Our engineers worked round the clock in horrendous conditions, restoring power to 98 per cent of customers within 24 hours, and answering 9,000 customer calls in two days.

“Sadly there is little we can do to stop winds of more than 100mph uprooting trees and blowing them into overhead electricity lines. But we do have an ongoing programme to cut back trees near lines, and work hard to restore power quickly when it does go off.

“We are absolutely not complacent, and we are continuing to provide information to both our regulator, Ofgem, and to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, along with other network operators  to see if there any lessons that can be learned.”

In the North West falling trees brought widespread damage to the overhead line network resulting in the loss of supply to 45,500 customers in the period from when the storm hit the region late on Boxing Day.

Electricity North West engineers restored power to 98 percent of customers within 24 hours with just 16 properties without power for more than 48 hours.

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Engineers are working to restore power to properties after severe flooding in Lancashire and Rochdale.

We are doing everything we can to restore power and we'll update you regularly on our news section and TwitterFor emergencies, please call us on 0800 195 4141.