Power problem could add to customer bills

A lightening strike caused the power cut to happen. Credit: PA

It all happened after a lightning strike just before 5pm on August 9th.

Faulty equipment at two large power stations led to chaos which affected more than a million people.

Although the power cut lasted just 45 minutes; 31 trains were stranded; 30 were evacuated; almost 600 rail services were cancelled.

Buried in today's report is a telling phrase: "Power losses went beyond the back- up power generation arrangements."

Clapham Junction station in south west London was plunged into darkness during the outage. Credit: PA

A review has been started into whether we need more standby power, but that comes at a cost. One expert ITV News spoke to says solving the problem could add an estimated £10 per bill and officials accept that we could end up paying more if the decision is made to boost the resilience of the power system.

Meanwhile compensation rules don’t allow you to get payouts for power cuts less than 24 hours – but do remember you can claim from train firms if you were caught up in those delays.

The money now being paid by the power firms responsible is not ring-fenced for people who were affected by the power cut. It goes into a general fund to help vulnerable energy customers.