Northern Powergrid accidentally sends man £2 trillion cheque for Storm Arwen damage

Gareth Hughes asked the company if it could afford the compensation he had been offered Credit: @gh230277

A man from Hebden Bridge has received a compensation cheque for more than £2 trillion in what Northern Powergrid has called an "oversight".

Gareth Hughes went viral after tweeting a picture of the cheque, which he received after going several days without power during Storm Arwen.

The image shows the customer had been written a cheque for £2,324,252,080,110.

Tagging the power supplier, he asked: "Before I bank the cheque however, are you 100% certain you can afford this?"

Northern Powergrid replied asking for his contact details so they could "correct this oversight."

Mr Hughes said in a further tweet to Northern Powergrid that he knew of at least four other cheques for the same amount sent to his neighbours.

The tweet attracted amusing replies from others asking for a share of the amount and Specsavers tweeted: "Hang on a minute..."

Andy Jones joked: "Dear Gareth can you lend me a few bob for a leaving party I am planning and my fines etc thank you B Johnson of London"

Mr Hughes' tweet has been liked and retweeted thousands of times.

Northern Powergrid said 74 customers had been affected by the "clerical error" - and it had stopped all the cheques affected.

A spokeswoman for Northern Powergrid said: “As soon as we identified the clerical error, which was caused by the electricity meter reference number being incorrectly quoted as the payment sum, we ensured all 74 customers’ cheques were stopped so they could not be cashed.

“We have been investigating how this error happened and carrying out checks of previous payments. All indications are that this was an isolated incident.

Storm Arwen tore through thousands of homes and left people without power for days in November Credit: PA

“We thank those customers who were honest and contacted us and we have been making contact directly over the weekend with all 74 customers affected to make them aware, apologise for the error and reassure them that a correct payment will be issued to them on Monday.”

More than 150,000 homes were left without power after Storm Arwen brought heavy winds to the UK last November.

Many homes were left cut off for several days afterwards.