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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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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

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.

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Mediterranean temperatures in Britain today

 A crowded beach at Cullercoats, North Tyneside, on Tuesday.
A crowded beach at Cullercoats, North Tyneside, on Tuesday. Credit: PA

Temperatures are set to reach sizzling highs again today as even residents in Scotland's Highlands enjoy scorching sun.

With a high of 30C (86F) expected in the south of England and possibly 28C (82F) in Scotland, Britons will be bathing in warmer climes than parts of Portugal and Spain.

Yesterday's high of 29.9C (85F) in Solent, Hampshire could be beaten, according to the Met Office, which predicted highs will continue until the weekend.

The hot weather brings with it a risk of heavy downpours though, forecasters warned, adding that rain could hit the south west this week.

Largely fine and warm with isolated showers in south

Largely fine and very warm. Isolated thunderstorms in the south.
Largely fine and very warm. Isolated thunderstorms in the south. Credit: Met Office

After a grey start for many eastern and central areas, most places will have another fine day with plenty of sunshine.

Very warm temperatures may allow some isolated thundery showers to spread westwards across the south, with the odd shower possible further north as well. Northeastern coasts will hold on to the dull and cooler conditions for much of the day.

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