Energy firms face review over Storm Arwen response as power cuts continue

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Britain’s energy regulator has launched a review of the response to power companies Storm Arwen and removed compensation limits for thousands of people affected by power cuts.

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Military personnel have been deployed to help residents of Scotland and England, who have been shutting down supplies for a week as the storm caused “catastrophic damage” to power networks.

Offgame said efforts to restore supplies “must continue” and that companies had “strict rules” on how to respond.


Ofgame chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: “We understand this is a really worrying time for those without heat and power as the severity of Hurricane Arwen affected homes and businesses in the north of England and Scotland. The effects of Hurricane Arwen are still being felt as 10,500 homes still have no electricity.

“We recognize that network companies are operating in challenging conditions, but this continued effort must continue until electricity is restored to every UK home.”

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He added: “We are starting a review of how the storm has been handled. We have strict rules on how network companies should operate in these circumstances and we will take action when needed.

The £700 limit on compensation has also been lifted and those affected by storm damage will be able to claim £70 for every 12 hour period that leaves them without electricity, after the initial £70 for the first 48 hours went.

The review will focus on the role of network companies in maintaining the flexibility of the system and their emergency response, including their communication with customers.

About 130 soldiers have been dispatched to conduct door-to-door checks and offer welfare assistance to the north-east of Scotland, where some 1,600 Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) customers were shut down at 10am on Friday.

South of the border, Durham County Council said about 100 soldiers and women would be based in Weardale to help local people.

Northern PowerGrid, the electricity distribution network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, said 6,000 customers remained off supply at 11 p.m. Thursday, although 234,000 others had been powerless since Hurricane Arwen swept across the country on Friday 26 November. has been restored.

SSEN said it expects to restore power to 1,100 homes throughout Friday and evening, where it remains safe to continue work and not subject to any unforeseen difficulties with ongoing repairs.

Around 500 customers are expected to rejoin during Saturday.


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