Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Yorkshire Electricity Group plc

  Thank you for your letter dated 8 March 1999 addressed to our Chief Executive. Mr Hall has asked me to reply to your request since I have responsibility for this area of our business.

  The weather experienced in our geographical region during the period Christmas 1998 to New Year 1999 was not especially severe in comparison to that experienced in other areas of the United Kingdom and in particular areas to the north of our region. Nevertheless we did experience some difficulties although we were never affected to the degree that we would have wished to declare Force Majeure.

  The gales were at their height on the 26 and 27 December. They then moderated on the 28 December 1998 and subsided to normal levels for the remainder of the period through to the 31 December.
DateForecast maximum windspeed (MPH) Actual maximum windspeed (MPH)
Saturday 26 December30 (gusting to 50) 72
Sunday 27 December25 (gusting to 35) 78
Monday 28 December15 (gusting to 25) 53
Tuesday 29 December27 (gusting to 35) 32
Thursday 30 December20 (gusting to 35) 38
Friday 31 December15 (steady) 24

  The gales caused relative minor damage to our distribution system across the period to which you refer. The worst damage occurred on the 26 December, with the number of incidents from the 27 to 31 December being considered to have been at normal levels.

  The total number of customers affected by the storms in our region was 46,327, that is 2.3 per cent of our total customer base. Our performance in relation to supply restoration, stated as both a total and percentage, is provided in the table below.
26-31 December 1998
Length of time off supply
More than
72 hours
Total number customers42,615 3,628840 00
Percentage restored92.0 7.80.20 00

  In view of our performance in restoring supplies during this period no special compensation payments were made to any customers. A small number of goodwill payments were made in accordance with our normal claims policy. For completeness five payments were made having a total value of £163.

18 March 1999

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