Energy boss: 'More could have been done'

The boss of UK Power Networks, which supplies eight million homes in the South East, said more could have been done in response to the storms that hit Britain over Christmas, leaving many without power.

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'More could've been done', energy firm boss says

The boss of UK Power Networks, which supplies eight million homes in the South East, has said that more could have been done in response to dealing with flood-hit Britain, according to the Mail on Sunday.

In an interview with the newspaper, Basil Scarsella said:

We could not have avoided the damage caused by the storm but we could have responded to it better.

A lot of our employees had gone away for holidays so it meant we had a level of depletion in our resources – and that caused problems with getting people’s power restored.

It’s difficult to justify saying the company has performed well when customers have been without power for five days, but once we had an idea of how bad it was we were able to mobilise as many engineers and office staff as possible.

Environment Agency issues 14 flood warnings

The Environment Agency has issued 14 flood warnings tonight, in which immediate action is required, after strong winds and heavy rain battered Britain over the Christmas period.

There are still 71 flood alerts in place, where flooding is possible, with the Southeast being the most affected.

Environment Agency issues 71 flood alerts and 14 flood warnings. Credit: Environment Agency

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Ofgem: Energy companies obliged to get homes back on

Energy regulator Ofgem said energy companies were obliged to do what they can to get people back on the grid as soon as possible. In a statement, the regulator said:

Energy companies are obliged to do what they reasonably can to get people back on as soon as possible and engineers are working in difficult circumstances to restore power to customers.

These obligations are backed by strong regulatory incentives put in place by Ofgem on the companies to maintain service levels and restore supplies, these include loss of revenues and awarding compensation payments to customers off supply.

There are also well established industry processes in place in event of severe weather and loss of supplies to share engineering resources and expertise across the network to help with supply restoration in the areas affected.

The priority for the energy companies is to reconnect remaining customers and we are monitoring progress with this. In due course it will also be necessary to review events and ensure any further lessons that need to be are learnt.

The comments come as approximately 3,000 people face yet another night with no electricity.

Read: Power woes continue as more rain expected

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Council leader confronted by angry resident

The leader of Kent County Council was angrily confronted today about the county's emergency plan following the storm damage earlier this week. Cllr Paul Carter visited Yalding the day after Prime Minister David Cameron was confronted in the same village about the lack of council services.

Click on the video above to watch the public confrontation.

Power woes continue as more rain expected

A local resident helps workmen clear water from her home in Yalding, Kent, after flooding. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Thousands of homes are still without power following the Christmas storms which swept Britain, as another band of heavy rain is set to bring the risk of further floods to parts of the country.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) said 3,000 homes across the UK were without electricity, as one of the UK's biggest power distributors promised to almost triple compensation for customers affected.

A man surveys damage done to his car at his home in Yalding, Kent, after it was flooded. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

UK Power Networks, which owns electricity lines and cables in London, the South East and east of England, said it will increase payments for 48 to 60-hour outages from £27 to £75 for those affected on Christmas Day as "a gesture of goodwill".

Additional payments will be made to customers who have been without electricity for longer than that time - up to a maximum of £432.

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Energy companies criticised over Christmas power cuts

Thousands of households across the UK are still without power this evening, with some homes in the south of England enduring their fifth night without electricity.

This afternoon the government's emergency committee met to discuss the situation, as the Met Office warned of more heavy rain and wind for Monday.

Rags Martel reports from Kent, where David Cameron visited yesterday.

Read: Council 'did not take a blind bit of notice' before Cameron's visit

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Many homes in Cumbria still without power

Homes in Cumbria are facing another night without power, as engineers work to reconnect more than one and a half thousand properties. Extra staff have been brought in to fix power lines damaged after gale force winds battered the region.

Electricity North West are working with the British Red Cross to look after vulnerable people, meanwhile Scottish Power say all customers in Dumfries and Galloway should be reconnected. At it's peak, thousands in southern Scotland were without power. Samantha Parker has the latest.

Davey: Power companies 'disappointing' during storms

Energy Secretary Ed Davey says power companies' communication with customers has been "inconsistent, inaccurate" and sometimes "non-existent" during long-term power cuts following storms earlier this week.

Mr Davey's comments followed a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee to deal with the severe weather and floods.

More than 700,000 households have had their electricity supply disrupted due to storms and floods over the Christmas period. Some 3,000 are still waiting to get power again, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said.

"We hope to have them reconnected by the end of tomorrow," Mr Davey told ITV News.

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