Jun 2018
Gas Distribution and Gas Transmission
Incident Management (Stage 2 – Phase 1)
Jun 2018
Apr 2019
Oliver Machan, Innovation Project Manager
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Safety and emergency
Health and Safety, Stakeholder Engagement, Gas Distribution Networks and Gas Transmission Networks
Loss of supply incidents can affect hundreds or thousands of properties and the current software tools used to support the process of managing the incident response are not integrated or fit for purpose.  More significantly, a major loss of supply incident (affecting 100,000 properties) will currently present significant challenges to a GDN in managing the incident.

Incidents that place a high demand on resources to investigate and manage are not limited to ‘actual’ loss of supply. In January 2013 the ‘French Gas Cloud’ resulted in a period of high call volumes to the national emergency number and onward to the GDN operational control centers.  Subsequent investigation work was also carried out by regional depot staff. Approximately 50% of the cost of the incident was spent on admin staff having to capture and process data to ensure every customer had a visit or had some form of contact from a GDN. This also had an ongoing fiscal impact of other depot staff having to back-fill and additional assistance to maintain on-going depot activities during the incident.

A major incident (of any kind) will require the GDN to provide significant resources, and come at a considerable cost.  Operations require a comprehensive solution to manage information and resources during a large-scale incident and to enable a quicker decision-making process on resource requirements. The information captured by the solution will also help to provide accurate cost information after the incident’s resolution and onward recharge where appropriate to ensure the GB Gas customer is not paying for other companies’ errors when working or operating near gas mains and assets.

Following the successful conclusion of Stage 1 (http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/nia_sgn0091), we’re continuing to assess the possibility of introducing a more advanced innovative incident management platform solution to improve the operational processes, specifically around customer interaction, people and resource management and incident recharge (where appropriate) using the fire service incident response methodology as a starting point. This was identified as the best in practice fit following an earlier prequalification exercise.
The objective of this work is to develop a working Proof of Concept system that aligns to the Stage 1 requirements to take forward to a beta production and testing stage.  The vendors, selected through a procurement exercise, propose to integrate a cloud based mobile forms system with a cloud based graphical interface for spatial data storage, analysis and visualisation. Together they will provide a secure, online solution for incident management. This will ensure that at the end of the overall project the industry has a robust and complete incident management solution that is ready for implementation.
It is difficult to accurately quantify the actual financial benefit at this stage; as indicated by the low start TRL shows the Method is at an early stage of development and cost estimates will be refined as it is further developed. However, it is envisaged that deployment of this technology may lead to financial benefits in the following areas:
  • More efficient use of resources during an incident
  • Better customer visibility during an incident
  • Full value recharge where a third party is responsible 
  • Reduction of administration post incident