Ensuring enwl.co.uk scales to meet spikes in customer demand

Electricity North West is the electricity distributor for the North West of England. One of 14 distribution network operators in the UK, Electricity North West is responsible for maintaining and upgrading 13,000 km of overhead power lines and more than 44,000 km of underground electricity cables for 2.5m customers and 4.5m properties in the region. The business also has a range of domestic and commercial customers including Heinz, Manchester Airport and Sellafield.

Continuous platform development

In a show of commitment to their customers, Electricity North West continued making advancements to their customers digital experience by deciding to update their website. The new scope meant bringing customer-centricity to the forefront. This way, customers would find it easier to find relevant pieces of information, such as reasons for power cuts or when a power cut would be fixed. The website aimed to reduce any lengthy process when sourcing a new electricity supply.

2 workers by van

Electricity North West set about a new site that decentralised operating process, which in turn would be better for efficiency and responding to customer queries.

The new site is responsive, mobile first and fit for purpose. We’ve been able to serve tens of thousands of hits on the website without a problem, which is where Optimizely Content Cloud has really helped. It’s been able to scale to cope with demand when it’s needed, on days which aren’t typical.

Ella Stafford
Customer Insights Manager, Electricity North West

Building a dynamic user-experience

Electricity North West opted to build their new digital engagement platform on the Optimizely Content Cloud. Content Cloud provides the electricity distributor with the tools they need to quickly create new pages and experiences and makes the site automatically responsive for its customers.

Other advantages include the site being more dynamic, customer focused and intuitive. It can be edited by the whole team, as opposed to a small, centralised team. Other advantages of the new system are that it allows Electricity North West to be much more agile when it comes to dealing with spikes in visitors to the site, for example during a storm or other natural disasters enabled by Microsoft Azure’s elastic scaling.

Optimizely Content Cloud empowers the entire team to upload banners and customer updates internally, taking out the middleman and making the process much more efficient.

Helping customers overcome the storm

In 2015 Storm Desmond left over 70,000 customers without an electricity supply primarily in Lancaster and Cumbria. Since migrating to Optimizely, the cloud-based CMS solution has helping to maintain optimal website performance, especially during times of crisis.

The elastic scalability of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform that Optimizely Content Cloud is built on allows Electricity North West’s website to handle sudden traffic spikes or seasonal demand variation, so that their customers can receive great service anywhere and anytime. In fact, during Storm Emma in 2018, having made the switch to Optimizely, the customer experience was noticeably different. The new website allowed Electricity North West to put more messages online quicker and to point customers in the right direction of key information, on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels which was then replicated on the website.

Customer commitment

Since migrating to Optimizely Content Cloud, Electricity North West’s website page loading speed is 28.89% faster than its predecessor. During Storm Emma 1-4 March 2018 the site saw higher traffic than usual with 263% more users, 319% more visits. Outreach also improved in terms of media sites driving traffic to the site; users were more engaged because they were looking at more content and staying longer on the site; and the site stayed up throughout.

Future Plans

Electricity North West believe their digital platform is vital their future utility operations. It is diversifying to become a customer insight tool as well as a robust communications channel. The electricity provider aims to support customers in emerging initiatives including low-carbon initiatives and electric car connections. The business expects customers to be using their site as a vital source of support and advice and for that to be possible, content is key. This has been made possible with Optimizely Content Cloud and showcases Electricity North West's commitment to ensuring their customers have a pleasant digital experience.


Manufacturing and distribution

Product used

Customer's website


In collaboration with:

Mando Group

United Kingdom
Mando are a UK digital agency, Optimizely Gold Partner & Microsoft Gold Partner.
Partner page