OREANDA-NEWS. April 12, 2016. Rapid response engineers from Southern Electric Power Distribution’s (SEPD) Oxford, Melksham and Andover depots have been equipped with a series of small suitcase-sized generators in a bid to get customers’ power back on more quickly during power cuts that affect individual or small groups of properties.

The new generators mean customers can continue to power their lights, heating, fridge, freezer and cooker whilst also being able to power some non-essentials, such as Wi-Fi and a television, until the cause of the power cut can be resolved. This is particularly useful during loss of supply that might occur in the evening as faults are often difficult to locate and repair at night.

The portable generators are light and small enough for a single engineer to carry and connect to a customer’s meter, wherever this might be located on their property, meaning they can be connected up and working within 20 minutes of a rapid response engineer arriving at a fault. The company has had extremely positive feedback from customers on the new approach.

Mark Grace, Supply Restoration Manager at Melksham depot, came up with the innovative idea that has been successfully piloted in Wiltshire and will be rolled out across parts of Oxfordshire and Hampshire by the end of this month.

He said: “Power cuts that happen late into the evening affecting a single property can be some of the worst we have to deal with. The customers affected obviously want their power back on as quickly as possible whilst their neighbours often don’t appreciate us digging up the road to repair a fault late at night. Investing in these new generators means we can get the lights back on almost straight away without causing any noise disruption, and then come back to make our repairs the following day.”

We have also invested more than ?250,000 in a fleet of brand new welfare vehicles, which can be used to provide hot drinks, meals and charging facilities for mobile devices in the rare event of a prolonged power cut.