23 December 2022
Amid all the media coverage of the energy crisis, you may have seen talk of planned emergency power cuts this winter. When you have a business to run, this kind of news isn’t exactly ideal. But we’re here to tell you not to worry.
The energy industry has plans in place to deal with the unlikely event of a national energy shortage this winter. That includes a full Rota Disconnection Schedule to minimise disruption and ensure that available energy is evenly distributed across different industry sectors – more on this later.
Below, we’ll talk you through what these planned power cuts involve, why they happen, and what you can do to prepare for them should they take place. We’ll also fill you in on what you can expect from us in the event of scheduled rota disconnections coming into effect.
Rota disconnections are planned emergency power cuts designed to manage reduced energy supplies. They’re scheduled by the National Grid on an area-by-area basis, with businesses typically losing power for around three hours at predefined times.
Through its nationwide Rota Disconnection Schedule, the Grid is able to manage energy reserves while ensuring fair distribution and minimal disruption.
First and foremost, we should stress that rota disconnections are very rare. They’re only used as an absolute last resort when all other options – such as turning down industrial demand and voltage reduction – have failed to restore stability to the network.
So, in what scenario might rota disconnections come into effect?
Well, if the UK’s energy reserves were severely impacted by global shortages, this could result in rota disconnections – particularly at times of the year when demand for energy is at its highest.
On this point, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) outlined a worst-case scenario: in the event of a very cold period which would greatly reduce gas supplies from Europe (and therefore the generation of electricity), there would be a need for these emergency disconnections.
Because the Government has the final say on rota disconnections, it would use national television, radio and social media channels to let customers know of the rota disconnection level.
You can also check the times of disruption against your corresponding rota disconnection code. This code is allocated by your postcode.
Rota disconnection codes – which are also known as ‘block letters’ or ‘alpha identifiers’ – are available to view at powercut105.com; just type your business’ postcode into the Find Your Network Operator section. This provides you with a timetable informing you of when you’ll be without power, as well as when there’s a risk that you might be without power.
Please note that your power might be switched off or reconnected around 30 minutes before or after the published time, depending on national power use at that time. This is because of the need to phase disconnections and reconnections which results in a short overlap.
As your supplier, we’re obligated to support you in the following ways too:
If you feel your business is eligible for the Priority Services Register, please let us know by completing this form.
Yes, some sites are protected from emergency planned power cuts. These include critical national infrastructure, such as air traffic control centres and major hospital facilities that have accident and emergency departments.
Unfortunately, no, you are not entitled to compensation. Due to the emergency nature of the situation, nobody would be held responsible for the loss of power to customers.
However, Energy UK – the industry trade body – suggests speaking to your insurance company to understand if any losses are covered.
As we noted, rota disconnections are rare. But in the event that they do happen, being prepared is important.
Keep your business up and running by making a note of the following preparation tips…
SEFE Energy is committed to guiding its customers through the ongoing energy crisis. Visit our dedicated hub for further information and advice.