Tenants urged to be winter ready as research reveals a fifth of Scots are not prepared

fuel povertyA new campaign is urging people to be prepared for bad weather this winter and to know what to do if they have a power cut or gas emergency.

The launch comes as new research revealed almost one in five (17%) people in Scotland admit they aren’t prepared for winter weather as colder conditions roll in.

The figures have been released to coincide with Be Winter Ready Day – a new initiative run by gas distribution company SGN and the UK’s other electricity and gas networks, which aims to help the public be better prepared if they have a power cut or gas emergency this winter. The initiative has been co-ordinated by the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

The survey found that well over half (56%) of people in Scotland think the reliability of the gas and electricity networks means they don’t have to prepare for winter as much as they used to. Elsewhere, 45% don’t keep a torch in their house in case of a power cut, while 64% don’t take steps to get their boiler serviced in advance of winter.

Furthermore, 67% of Scottish residents don’t know who their local gas or electricity network operators are, with just a third (33%) saying they prepare themselves for winter by finding out who to contact if their gas or electricity goes off.

David Smith, chief executive of Energy Networks Association, said: “In recent years the chances of unplanned problems with electricity and gas supply have reduced dramatically. Since 1990, network companies have invested £80bn in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK. On average, electricity customers have a power cut just once every two years and gas customers will have their gas supply interrupted just once every 40 years.

“However, as the nights get colder and darker, the chances of severe weather increase. Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can sometimes cause damage to the electricity network and disrupt the energy supply. That’s why we are calling on people in Scotland to Be Winter Ready and make sure they are prepared in case they have a power cut or gas emergency.”

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