Storms, flooding and bad weather

Weather events can be severe and cause damage to electricity networks, but our engineers work 24/7 to keep the lights on whatever the weather. 

Bad weather can disrupt and disturb our electricity system, however, we take our job of ‘keeping the lights on’ very seriously. We have a number of approaches in place to deal with potential issues that severe weather might cause – from power cuts to pylon damage.


How do we prepare for bad weather?

Our network must also be resilient to storm conditions. We invest around £1.3 billion each year to adapt and develop our network. This includes upgrading and maintaining equipment, and routinely checking on the condition of our assets and the environment around them.

It’s not just storms that can cause issues for the power system, our engineers must be prepared to deal with any weather event, such as extreme heat.

That’s why our teams work hard to plan ahead, making sure the network is in good condition before hot weather sets in. We thoroughly check and maintain our assets, inspecting oil and gas levels in our equipment as well as making sure cooling fans and pumps are in good working order. 

More ways we prepare our network for bad weather; 

  • We work closely with the Met Office to live track weather conditions across Britain 
  • We use a system called Delayed Auto Reclose (DAR) on our power lines, it's a high-voltage switch that kicks in if a fault trips a circuit (not uncommon during bad storms) and brings the power line back into service after a few seconds.  
  • We trim and fell trees close to our assets to prevent them damaging our network
  • We protect our substations against flooding through flood defences and elevating them off the ground and out of danger. 
  • We have teams of engineers working in the control centre and in substations 24/7 making sure the network of pylons, cables and substations is robust against weather damage.