Somerset town and villages to benefit from £440,000 investment in electricity infrastructure

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is investing £440,000 to boost the resilience and strength of the power supply for residents and business owners in the Somerset town of Frome and the surrounding villages of Rode, Berkley and Woolverton. 

The work to upgrade the electricity infrastructure supplying over 2,000 customers living and working in the local area is now under way, with SSEN’s engineers commencing the refurbishment of the 28 kilometre-long overhead network on Tuesday 9 June. 

The project, which is scheduled to take just under five weeks to complete, will include the replacement of 110 poles, the renewal of several transformers and the maintenance of parts of the existing infrastructure; all building a more resilient and reliable network for the villages for years to come. 

In compliance with social distancing measures and in order to ensure maximum safety for customers in the area and colleagues working on the project, SSEN will carry out the programme of works while adhering to strict Government guidelines on social distancing and the use of enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). These working guidelines include implementing a one person one van policy, thorough safety checks in advance of any work, and maintaining a two metre distance at all times. 

SSEN’s Regional Construction Manager Chris Gilroy said: “We’re extremely pleased to be carrying out these works for our customers in Frome and the surrounding area, to ensure they have a power supply that not only suits their current requirements, but will serve the area and those who live and work here for many years to come. 

“I want to assure our customers that for the duration of these works we will be adhering to strict Government guidelines on social distancing, so we can ensure the safety of both our colleagues and our customers.

“While there are no Planned Service Interruptions (PSI) for the majority of these works, some customers may have their supplies provided by generators for a very short period of time to enable the completion of the project. This small number of customers will be contacted well in advance and measures will be taken to ensure their supply requirements are met.” 

SSEN is aware that customers may generally have concerns relating to power cuts. To assist with this SSEN has extended its Priority Services Register (PSR) to those who are categorised at ‘high risk’ and ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus, so they are now eligible to sign up for additional support through the free, tailored service. This includes those following government guidelines who have received a letter from the NHS to socially shield for a 12-week period. 

Customers are also eligible for SSEN's Priority Services Register 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
  • Would benefit from PSR services for any other reason, even if temporarily

SSEN produces its Priority Services Register leaflets in 11 different languages; all of which are also available to read and download from its website, by going to: www.ssen.co.uk/psr. The website will also translate every page to over 100 languages, and read 33 of them aloud; simply by clicking on the Accessibility ‘triple A’ button in the top right hand corner. 

To find out more, please go to the Priority Services Register page on our website: www.ssen.co.uk/psr, where SSEN’s multi-language PSR leaflets can also be accessed and downloaded. 

To read more about the ways in which teams are working to keep your power flowing during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit this page on our website: https://www.ssen.co.uk/covid19response/