Recent damage to electricity distribution network

Many individuals and businesses will have been affected by the disruption in electricity supplies due to recent storm damage.

Most of the serious damage that disrupted supplies was reconnected fairly quickly, but for many home and business owners, reconnection has become a protracted affair.

A recent letter from the Secretary of State for Business to Ofgem is worth noting. In his letter, the RT Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP said:

“Storm Arwen saw the worst damage and disruption to the electricity system in over 15 years. A significant number of customers in Northern England and Scotland have faced power disruptions in excess of one week, and the prolonged restoration has made life incredibly difficult for thousands of customers across the country.

“I understand that under Ofgem’s Guaranteed Standards, Distribution Network Operators have up to 10 working days from when a customer applies to make payments to impacted customers in all scenarios barring severe weather. Given the significant scale of disruption caused, particularly during the run up to Christmas, I expect Ofgem to ensure Distribution Network Operators make every effort to deliver compensation to affected customers swiftly and without delay, considering the burden making a detailed application might place on impacted customers, and in line with the Guaranteed Standards expectations.

“I am mindful of the 3-month eligibility window customers have to apply for compensation, however I expect Distribution Network Operators to proactively notify affected customers of their eligibility to simplify the application process, following what has already been a stressful and disruptive time.

In the review into the response to the Storm I have asked officials to conduct, we will also be looking at DNOs responsiveness in providing compensation. Please confirm to my officials what steps Ofgem are taking to ensure customers will receive compensation as soon as reasonably practical.”

The Ofgem ‘Know your rights’ following power cuts can be accessed at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2016/12/ofg581_guarantee_standards_booklet_updated_dec16.pdf

The message is clear, apply for compensation, and quickly, and certainly within the 3-month claim’s window.

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