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Readers’ letters: Local power outage no major issue for electric cars

SSEN team deliver power generator, Glenshee.
SSEN team deliver power generator, Glenshee.

Sir, – I read with interest the letters on December 1 reference the devastating Storm Arwen.

However, we had the usual bashing of electric cars and would like to draw readers’ attention to the true facts. I was subjected to three days without power – but concern for my electric car was not a problem.

Our local garage was shut – because there was no electricity to power the petrol pumps and I had to drive to Inverurie to get petrol for a small generator. If I had a petrol car which was virtually out of fuel, I would have been just as inconvenienced as I would if I had an electric car with a flat battery.

However, when an electric car announces that it is low on power, the car will still travel about 30 miles before it gives up. There are lots of charging points in Inverurie and I topped my car up while shopping and filling a can with petrol.

The electric car is not yet perfect but my little Renault Zoe is still doing 200 miles between charges and a power outage locally is no problem.

On another related matter, there has been some grumbling about the time it took to get power back on. I can only say ‘well done!’ to the electricity engineers. It can’t have been fun working in those conditions and thanks so much to them for their efforts!

Peter Donaldson, Meikle Wartle, Inverurie

Authorities slow to help after storm

Sir, – I am astounded by the lack of assistance from both the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council offered to the north-east communities who are suffering dreadful hardship as a result of last weekend’s Storm Arwen.

It is not as though we were not warned about the seriousness of the storm or hadn’t experience of Storm Frank.

It was bad enough that there was no immediate offer of assistance, but for Deputy First Minister John Swinney to make his first comment on behalf of the Government three days after the resulting damage: “the impact of the storm was far greater than initially realised” – did none of the many SNP MSPs inform him of the damage?

And in the STV news we had a councillor stating that “it takes time to action these things” – what?!

If it was not for the local communities rallying around then goodness knows what would have happened.

Donald R Cook, St Duthac Crescent, Banchory

Energy source mix helped us through

Sir, – We are now in our fifth day without electricity as are many still in Scotland.

Thankfully we cook on (bottled) gas – we have a wood burner and some open fires – we have a Calor gas heater and oil lamps and candles.

Our economical diesel car allows us to go out for supplies or to restaurants which are open for a meal.

I’m glad we don’t have a heat pump or an electric car.

Diversity in energy source has been a huge advantage for us, Slater, Harvey and indeed Sturgeon, please note.

Mike Salter, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Damage should have been foreseen

Sir, – The vast majority of the power outages were preventable.

The most common problem was trees being blown down over power lines. They should have been cut down in good time.

Company directors are getting huge dividends and executives are getting massive bonuses to keep it that way for them. They can’t be trusted.

The whole thing should be taken from them and nationalised.

The revenues generated from the business should be poured back in to modernise and to maintain the system.

Cameron G Fraser, Main Street, Lumsden, Aberdeenshire

Electricity bosses failing customers

Sir, – What has happened with the electricity service in the north-east is nothing short of criminal. I don’t blame the foot soldiers who are doing, in some cases, a near impossible task to restore services, but I do blame the top echelons of management, being a collection of people who have got too far away from the practicalities of running a public service and spending too much time looking at balance sheets and profits.

The job planners within this top layer of management can hire themselves a couple of helicopters and during spring and summer identify all the problem areas with encroaching trees, and during this summer create a 60-metre corridor through the trees which are liable to interfere with distribution lines. I’m sure that making a pre-emptive strike on these trouble spots would save all the disruption to both staff and frustrated customers. I do hope that the company is in generous mood to award a hefty recompense to all the customers who had to suffer this discomfort.

It also begs the questions of the Greens as to how they would run a country’s utilities when you don’t have reliable companies in charge of their strategy? You can generate as much electricity as you like but if there is no reliable method to get it to customers, it is a complete waste of time.

Alexander Sutherland, Hilton Drive, Aberdeen.

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