Budding young artists have been the inspiration behind this year’s Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution (SSEPD) awareness-raising campaign for winter.
The ‘We’re ready for winter. Are you?’ campaign kicked off this week and will run from November to January featuring artwork from the children of SSEPD employees. The drawings and messages from the children reflects the work their parents do 365 days a year to keep the lights on for SSEPD’s 740,000 customers across northern Scotland, and shows their pride in the roles their mums or dads play when the worst of the weather hits and affects the power network. Their artwork will be appearing in TV, newspaper adverts and online, while further information on how SSEPD is preparing – and helping its customers prepare – for bad weather will be broadcast on radio.
Six-year-old Emme Cargill from Perth is one of the youngsters whose artwork is gracing the advertising campaign and took part to show the work that her mum, Casey, does as a business analyst for SSEPD.
While the campaign aims to raise some smiles with its child’s eye view on electricity and power cuts, its main aim is to raise awareness of the work SSEPD does year round to reinforce its network and the various resources available to customers through SSEPD to help them weather the storm, as Director of Customer Operations, Dale Cargill explains:
“It’s at this time of the year that the work of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution becomes more obvious as the weather changes and we ask our customers to prepare themselves for a possible power cut in the face of adverse weather.
“The ‘We’re ready for winter. Are you?’ campaign might only run through the winter months, but our work to get ready for the worst that the weather can throw at us goes on 365 days a year as we work to maintain, repair and replace our network to make it stronger and more resilient.
“While we want to reassure our customers that we’re constantly working to keep the lights on, we also want them to know that we’re here to help them when the bad weather sets in and there’s a possibility that they may be temporarily without power.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“I am pleased this campaign pays tribute to all the men and women who work tirelessly throughout the year, in all types of weather, to keep the lights on – often in the most remote parts of Scotland.
“This week also sees the launch of the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter campaign which encourages everyone to prepare for severe weather before it happens and not to wait until the last minute.”
SSEPD continually monitors the weather so that engineers, call centre staff and welfare provisions are in place at the earliest opportunity when the risk of bad weather is looming. Through this monitoring, the ‘We’re ready for winter. Are you?’ campaign can be tailored to suit with messaging through various channels being increased as much as 48 hours ahead of a possible storm hitting, giving customers as much warning as possible to prepare for any power outages and allow for them to fully charge laptops, tablets and mobile phones so they can access information, advice and even contact SSEPD through its social media feeds until the power is back on.
Customers are also encouraged to download the company’s award-winning PowerTrack app (https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Powertrack/) which provides updates on power cuts via Apple and Android smartphones and tablets; to store SSEPD’s Freephone number (0800 300 999) on their phones; to go to the SSEPD website ( www.ssepd.co.uk) for more useful advice on how to prepare for a possible power cut, and to get information for customers who need extra help so they can sign up to the Priority Services Register (https://www.ssepd.co.uk/PriorityServices/).
In the event of a storm, the SSEPD website switches to Storm Live – a specifically developed site that provides rolling live updates on individual storms across the SSEPD area. From the locations of welfare vans to when engineers will arrive at the scene of an outage and restore power, live feeds from social media and access to information designed to help customers through a power cut; all of the help SSEPD can supply can be found here and along with this winter’s campaign to raise awareness it’s hoped that whatever the weather, you shouldn’t feel left in the dark.
By Sam OConnor