One of the UK’s largest energy companies Scottish Power has submitted plans to energy regulator Ofgem to renew and maintain cables carrying electricity to over 3.5 million customers in Scotland, Merseyside and mid and North Wales. The work is expected to run between 2015 and 2023 but they have been unable to say how much of the 65,000 miles of cable will be upgraded until full inspections have been completed on all over ground and underground cables. A decision is expected to be made by Ofgem in November after ensuring customers are benefiting from the changes being made.
With many of the cables and substations being built between the 1950’s and 1970’s, the upgrades would mean 25,000 customers would receive a better service once the 2,500 substations have been upgraded and will help to avoid situations such as the power shortages that affected 3,000 Scottish households in March this year.
Scottish power claims the new upgrades will create around 2,500 new jobs and are planning to invest £90million recruiting and training all the new staff needed to ensure the upgrades are successful.
“By utilising new technology, we can deliver an even more robust network that improves efficiency, results in fewer and shorter interruptions and supports the generation of low carbon electricity” explained Frank Mitchell, CEO of Scottish Power.
Scottish Power are also said to be improving their customer services by doubling compensation payments made to customers who lose power for extended periods from 2015. Customers who have been without power for 12 hours and are on the companies’ priority list will also be offered food and accommodation from 2015.