Northern Powergrid


Working on or near our assets

“We provide help and advice to customers who need it when they are working near our assets” Nick Gill, Operations Director

There are times when people need our help to work near or around our assets when undertaking their own projects. This ranges from individuals working on their homes to companies making big investments in new infrastructure.

Typically these situations include requests:

  • for physical covers for overhead lines (shrouding)
  • to physically move our assets (either temporarily or permanently)
  • to share one of our wood poles (e.g. for a telephone line)
  • for safety advice about working near our assets, including where our underground cables are
  • to temporarily switch off the power while work is undertaken near our assets.

Our objective

When giving help and advice for work taking place near our assets we aim to meet all our statutory duties and to give excellent customer service.

Our performance

Those who need to work near our assets rated us for four major service lines: cable plans; disconnections; diversions; and shrouding.

The chart below shows that our customers give us 9/10 ratings, on average, for cable plans and shrouding, which we deliver quickly and responsively. Our customers give us lower ratings for diversions, which are more complex services, with longer lead-times. Although our scores exceed the Ofgem target of 8.2/10, we continue to focus on our work in this area to improve our customer satisfaction levels. Customer feedback tells us that the improvements we have made in our connections processes, including our communication methods, could improve our performance levels in diversions – this is something we are looking into.

Improving our service

We surpassed our goal of 9.3/10 in customer satisfaction for our shrouding services and continue to improve in the other categories, including earthing installation, service equipment defects replacement and substation maintenance. We set ourselves the goal of reducing the time taken to deliver our services within 28 days, which has helped to improve our performance, and we will continue to target reductions in these timescales next year.

We also set ourselves the goal to improve our diversions and disconnections processes and although we’re making progress in these areas we still have work to do in the rest of 2017 and in 2018.

We have increased the number of categories covered by our web-based services to enable our customers to interact more effectively with us. This has been successful in the cut-out replacement category where our customers can now book their own appointment date to suit them.

working near our assets table.JPG

Looking ahead

We are looking at future developments in this area including free installation of earthing to domestic customers along with the ability to book appointments online. We are also pursuing improvements in our communications leading up to an appointment and after completion of the works, further tightening of lead-times for key services and implementation of standard pricing and web-based disconnection services.