- 5 updates
'More could have been done' - that is the verdict after thousands of people suffered a miserable Christmas last year - when devastating storms left homes without power across huge areas of the south east.
Energy companies accused of failing their customers have been ordered to pay out more than £3 million pounds and double their compensation payments to customers after an inquiry into how they handled the storms.
Ofgem, the energy watchdog, found that companies like SSE and UK Power Networks could and should have worked faster to get customers reconnected - and keep them better informed.
Sarah Saunders spoke to Yalding resident Erica Olivares and Mark Mathieson from SSE power distribution.
Ofgem has said "companies could have done more" to help customers during last year's winter storms, when power cuts affected nearly a million homes.
Ofgem's Maxine Frerk said:
The energy regulator is to more than double the minimum compensation payment for households that suffer power losses due to severe weather.
Ofgem said the planned changes should "strengthen the incentives for companies to act quickly" and reconnect customers as soon as possible.
Energy regulator Ofgem has agreed an additional £3.3 million from companies SSE and UK Power Networks after an investigation into how they dealt with last year's winter storms.
The money will go to organisations that played a key role in helping vulnerable customers who suffered power loss.
The firms have already paid out £4.7 million and committed to improvements.
Severe weather over Christmas 2013 saw power cuts affect nearly a million homes and Ofgem has today put the industry on notice that any repeat of last year's performance issues will trigger further action.
Scottish and Southern Energy's payout totals £2.3 million to the British Red Cross, Age UK, National Energy Action, Macmillan Cancer Support, and to a new community fund.
Distributor UK Power Network totals paid £1 million to the British Red Cross, the Royal Association for Deaf People, Carer's Trust and Citizens Advice.
Energy regulator Ofgem is to more than double the minimum compensation payment for households that suffer power losses due to severe weather.
Affected customers will now receive at least £70 if they experience an outage of more than 24 hours.
Energy provider Scottish and Southern Energy and distributor UK Power Network have agreed to pay out a total £8 million over their handling of last year's winter storms.
An additional £3.3 million has been secured by regulator Ofgem after the £4.7 million already paid out to customers over "exceptional" storms last Christmas in the south of England.