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VIDEO: Left in the dark? Power cut compensation to improve

by Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

'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.

National

Ofgem storm probe: 'Companies could have done more'

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.

Read: Compensation boost for weather-related power losses

Chertsey in Surrey was one of the areas hit by floods last Christmas.
Chertsey in Surrey was one of the areas hit by floods last Christmas. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Ofgem's Maxine Frerk said:

A power cut at Christmas time is the last thing anyone needs.

While we recognise the hard work of the companies and their staff who were out working to reconnect customers during the severe weather, the companies could have done more to plan for the weather and keep customers informed.

– Maxine Frerk, Ofgem's senior partner for distribution

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.

Read: Companies pay £3.3m extra in storm compensation

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National

Companies pay £3.3m extra in storm compensation

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 new payments come after an investigation into how the companies handled the storms.
The new payments come after an investigation into how the companies handled the storms. Credit: PA

The firms have already paid out £4.7 million and committed to improvements.

Read: SSE and UKPN pay out for handling of winter storms

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.

Read more: Compensation boost for weather-related power losses

National

SSE and UKPN pay out for handling of winter storms

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.

Restaurant destroyed by flying shingle reopens

A restaurant in Milford-On-Sea that was shattered during the awful weather earlier this year has now reopened after major refurbishment. The seafront restaurant was hit by flying shingle from the beach on Valentine's Day as couples enjoyed romantic dinners.

In acknowledgment of the fateful evening, the new restaurant has been renamed after the evening, as Valentines.

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Rail repairs after landslip will cost £5m

Botley
The landslip at Botley in Hampshire Credit: Meridian

Work to fully repair the biggest ever landslip in Britain, caused by the recent storms, will cost a total of £5 million. The train line at Botley in Hampshire reopened at the weekend.

Eighty metres of embankment collapsed causing a month of disruption for commuters in Winchester, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Basingstoke.

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