SSEN responds to SOS

Teams based at SSEN’s Portsmouth and Petersfield depots recently responded to an ‘emergency’ call of a very different kind, when the production team behind hit BBC TV programme DIY SOS contacted them to ask for an electricity meter to be moved.

The BBC One programme DIY SOS has been running for 16 years, and sees the presenter Nick Knowles and his team work with local electricians, joiners, builders and other skilled trades to transform the homes of families with a disability or vulnerability. Gutting out and re-building a house can be a big enough challenge on its own, but if you then throw in the extra requirement that everything needs to be completed in just nine days, you can see why SOS is included in the programme’s title.

The SOS team were going to carry out a major makeover on a property in Yapton, West Sussex but, due to the scale and logistics of the works involved, the electricity meter needed to be moved before any filming could start. The SOS call came in to SSEN on the Friday, with filming due to start on the Tuesday, and so time was very much of the essence for everyone involved.

Chris Slingsby, SSEN’s Head of Customer Operations for the South East Region, says that he and his team were glad to have been able to help: “Without wanting to give anything away about the actual episode, it was vital that the meter was moved so that the filming could begin on schedule. The BBC team told us about the family whose house they were going to be working on, and it really is a very deserving cause, and so I was happy to help assign the team required to carry out the work at such short notice.”

The ‘big reveal’, which took place after all of the works were completed gives viewers the chance to see the family’s reaction as they first cast eyes on their ‘new’ home; SSEN’s team along with all of the trades teams and suppliers who helped were invited to the Yapton unveiling, and afterwards the team got their photos taken with Nick Knowles and his SOS colleagues.

If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from free extra help and support on the rare occasions the power is off, please contact our Priority Service Register team on 0800 294 3259 or visit the dedicated page on our website,

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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