Several reports warning Britons of impending power outages related to the coronavirus pandemic are incorrect and labelled as fake news, as suggested by the UK Power Networks CEO Basil Scarsella.
Scarsella said the prior notice UKPN sent to vulnerable customers was misrepresented and thought to mean that there will be power cuts due to the discontinuation of non-essential work.
Currently, the government has only allowed businesses classified as an essential service to remain open amid the crisis.
UKPN CEO Basil Scarsella stated in an interview that power would be staying on in the UK despite various tabloid reports saying that outages are imminent due to the virus outbreak. He affirmed that the UK’s power system reliability is one of the best in Europe and around the world. He further attested that this fact would not change during this crisis.
The UKPN has previously sent notices to vulnerable consumers, reminding them to be prepared and reach out to their respective distribution network operator in case of a power outage.
Scarsella believes the media distorted the meaning, assuming it meant that power cuts are inevitable because energy engineers are prevented from working because of the work-at-home and self-isolation order.
UKPN strongly suggest that the circulating reports of outages are to be taken as “fake news” and misleading.
Several tabloids across the UK have published articles warning households to prepare as power outages could happen in light of the coronavirus lockdown. They cited the pause on non-essential work that energy firms experienced, as with other industries in the UK, as the primary reason why power cuts are likely to occur at this time.
The guidance includes having a torch on hand, dressing warmly, and keeping doors closed to prevent heat loss from the inside. The consumers were also reminded in the letter to stay warm if they are feeling unwell, very young or less mobile.
UKPN sent the notice to its vulnerable customers, including households with children under five years of age, pensioners, and persons with disabilities or chronic medical conditions.
The organisation claims ownership and management of the electricity cables serving three million households in the East of England, South East and London, which involves repairing electrical faults. Low-priority work on substations and electricity cables are to be stopped for the time being.
UKPN also stated it would order engineers who need to enter homes to wear protective equipment at all times, stay a considerable distance away from people who are self-isolating or infected. They will also be ordered to avoid touching any surface.