Driving efficiency to support smart metering in the North East
As investment continues to ramp up to decarbonise our homes and infrastructure, Clancy has been helping Northern Powergrid to facilitate the ambitious UK-wide roll-out plan of smart meters and electric vehicle (EV) charge points. This has required Clancy to work quickly and efficiently to make sure that existing household connections are primed and ready for the expansion of these services, along with regular repair and maintenance.
This involves digging, jointing, reinstating electrical services, which means digging a hole, usually a metre by a metre, to expose the cables connecting a property to the mains electricity supply, isolating the cables from the fuse board to enable repairs and upgrades of the property’s network and then restoring the connection to the grid.
However, digging, jointing, reinstating services often need multiple teams’ involvement – typically one team with civils experience to dig, another with electrical expertise to joint and a final one to reinstate the connection. This can be difficult to coordinate and result in a single job taking up to a week.
To tackle this, Clancy has been investing in multiskilling its people, building teams of two with both the civils and electrical expertise and qualifications to deliver the whole job in a single visit.
To make sure teams are kept safe while working with electrical networks, safe dig plans, and cable avoidance tools (CAT) and genny scans are used to carefully trace the cabling and any other utility services and accurately identify the location for the dig. All workers also wear arc resistant and insulating PPE to minimise the risk from arc flashes or sparks. They are encouraged to use ARC blankets, part of a Clancy-led health and safety initiative, to cover exposed services when excavating around them. This provides protection both to the operative and the exposed electric asset.
Each team can now complete a job in under four hours, enabling Northern Powergrid to help more households in the North East to go green, faster, with smart meter or EV charging installations.
Clancy’s smaller teams also result in less disruption to individuals and the public. Not only does the site need to be kept clear for significantly less time but this way of working also avoids the need for grab wagons to be brought in to remove rubble – Clancy’s teams use hand-dig only for these targeted excavations, meaning minimal waste and disturbance.