No repeat of blackouts, says EDF

POWER supplier EDF Energy today promised it is doing all it can to avoid a repeat of last October's black-out.A £300million programme of investment is set for the network this year and a thorough review of performance has been carried out.

POWER supplier EDF Energy today promised it is doing all it can to avoid a repeat of last October's black-out.

A £300million programme of investment is set for the network this year and a thorough review of performance has been carried out.

It follows a period last year in which several people were without power for several days, and in some cases weeks.

A spokesman for the company, formerly known as 24seven, said: "EDF Energy has put considerable measures in place to improve performance in emergency situations following the storm last October.

"We conducted a full review of our performance and initiated a 57-point action plan to improve our performance. This plan is on target for completion by December 2003, with 45 of the 57 actions already implemented."

Summer seemingly ended with a bang on Monday, as heavy rain and gusty winds cut power supplies to 20,000 customers in the region, 400 in Suffolk.

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Power was restored to 90 per cent of affected customers within three hours, with the remainder dealt with by lunchtime the following day.

The spokeswoman added: "Our ability to deal with emergency situations was tested on January 30 and 31 when parts of East of England were subjected to a severe snow and wind storm.

"Despite access difficulties, we restored service to 89% of some 102,000 customers affected within three hours and made final restorations to service within 32 hours. We hope that this demonstrates the improvements already in place."

The £300 million of network improvements set to be invested includes projects to reinforce and improve the network to meet future demand for service.

Money spent on tree-trimming will increase by 60pc this year and will again be boosted in 2004 and 2005 as part of a five-year plan to cut trees away from all our overhead lines.

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