SSEN partners with Just Eat to feed customers during power cuts
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has teamed up with the UK’s leader in food delivery to enhance its welfare provision to customers during adverse weather and power cuts. Customers in SSEN’s central southern England distribution area will soon be given vouchers to use on the Just Eat app, providing a range of different food options, while SSEN’s engineers work to restore power.
Power cuts have been reduced in the UK by 50% since 2002, and SSEN is managing an investment programme to further support a resilient and smart network that reduces the instances, and duration of faults. However in the rare occurrence that a fault does occur, the network operator is committed to providing industry-leading customer service, while power is being restored. Traditionally customers would be provided with food from a welfare van, but now announcing its partnership with Just Eat, SSEN customers will soon be able to choose from a wide range of hot meals when dealing with a power cut.
Lisa Doogan, SSEN’s Head of Customer Service explains further: “We know that having a power cut causes significant disruption to our customers’ day, and one of those disruptions is the inability to cook food. We think it’s important we make a power cut as comfortable as possible while our engineers work hard to restore the power, so we try to offer welfare provisions when the power cut is prolonged.
“It's essential that we cater for our customers’ needs and that involves adapting our services to ensure their specific dietary or religious requirements can be met.”
The partnership between SSEN and Just Eat has already been successfully trialled in the network operator’s Thames Valley region, which accommodates nearly 980,000 customers across rural and urban areas. Plans are now in place to roll the provision out across SSEN’s central southern England patch during 2020.
Lisa added: “We have always made a commitment to put our customers and communities at the heart of all we do and this partnership ensures that customers have more choice and flexibility – meaning they can choose the food they want at a time that suits.
“Importantly, working with Just Eat also supports restaurants in the community through increased trade and due to them already being in the local area, getting food to customers is easier and quicker; especially if there are issues on main routes that our welfare vanes would find difficult to navigate.”
Matt Bushby, Marketing Director, Just Eat UK, said: "Our Just Eat gift cards enable people to order from any of the restaurants on our platform in their local areas, from high street favourites such as Subway and KFC to tens of thousands of fantastic independent takeaways, offering a huge range of delicious cuisines. So we're delighted to team up with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks to provide vouchers for their customers during adverse weather and power cuts - giving them access to a wide range of food options for breakfast, lunch or dinner when they're not able to cook at home."
During the roll-out of the service - and where customers are unable to order through Just Eat - SSEN will send alternative welfare provisions and continue to work with local restaurants, shop owners and community centres to put resilience plans in place that support local communities, particularly during weather events.
While SSEN has well established resilience plans and is fully prepared for whatever extremities this year’s weather may bring, customers are being encouraged to take some simple, practical steps to be ready together with SSEN to strengthen their resilience, including:
- Signing up to SSEN’s free Priority Services Register, or finding out if a friend or family member could benefit from the scheme, that supports customers who may need extra help during a power cut;
- Downloading SSEN’s free Power Track app, which provides live updates on faults and restoration times. Customers can also report power cuts and network damage directly to SSEN via the app;
- Saving the 105 free-to-call national power cut number to their phone contacts.
By registering for SSEN’s PSR, customers will be proactively contacted to warn them of potential bad weather to help them prepare and to offer extra support where required. SSEN’s teams will also keep in close and regular contact with its PSR customers during power cuts to check they are getting the help they need.
Over 700,000 of SSEN’s customers are already signed up for the service, but SSEN is aware that there are still some customers who may not realise they are eligible for the scheme that provides extra support during power cuts.
Customers can qualify for the PSR if they:
- Are deaf or hard of hearing
- Have a disability
- Live with children under five
- Are blind or partially sighted
- Have a chronic illness
- Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
- Are over 60
For more information on the support available from SSEN, and for helpful advice on preparing for and dealing with a power cut, please visit ssen.co.uk/ready-together.