More than 400 properties in and around Pitronnerie Road and the Bouet lost power at around 8:45am. Guernsey Electricity engineers were able to restore supplies to some within two hours and then used generators to temporarily reconnect other customers while the repairs were underway. Supplies were restored to all customers just after 5pm.
‘The priority for Guernsey Electricity on Tuesday was to restore power but because it was a high voltage cable that was damaged, it did take all day and we want to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused,’ said chief executive Alan Bates.
‘Once we were satisfied that the power supply was stabilised, we then investigated the cause and following our enquiries, we have now established that the damage was likely caused by a third party contractor and was therefore through no fault of Guernsey Electricity.
‘It is very disappointing that so many people were affected when it could have been so easily avoided. Guernsey Electricity has invested in ensuring that contrators and islanders have free access to maps of the island’s electricity cable network and so there is simply little excuse when accidental damage does occur.’
Guernsey Electricity’s free online ClickB4UDig service was launched in 2011 allowing contractors to check the location of cables before they start work to avoid damage to cables and the risk of disruption to power supplies and injuries. The service proved so successful that it was quickly made available to members of the public. Guernsey Electricity also maintains a DialB4UDig service where customer can call in and collect plans or have them emailed to them.
‘Damage to cables can result in serious injury, expensive repair bills, disruption to power supplies and road closures and so as a responsible company, we do everything we can to minimise these risks,’ said Mr Bates.
‘There are approximately 1,000 miles of underground electricity cables in Guernsey. The island’s road network is only around 345 miles in total which means many cables, both low voltage and high voltage, are located on private land. The cables may not be buried that deep and so something as simple as putting up a fence can cause damage.’
Although the number of searches has increased and the number of incidents has decreased, Mr Bates said Tuesday’s fault showed the impact of contractors and islanders not making the appropriate checks.
‘The service is designed to be simple and quick to use. If people don’t spare a few minutes to check, then it can impact hundreds of people and businesses. ’
For more information about ClickB4UDig, go www.electricity.gg/click-before-u-dig or call 01481 241915.