Regulator Ofgem is proposing to double the financial payments customers get for facing long power cuts during extreme weather conditions.
The payments made by Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) were due to rise from £27 to £35 as part of Ofgem’s price control – which runs from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2023 – but could now increase to £70. The watchdog also plans to raise the cap on payments from £216 to £700.
Thousands of homes across Britain had no access to electricity last Christmas and while 95% of them were reconnected within 24 hours, the rest were without power for an extended period of time, Ofgem said.
The watchdog believes increasing the payments would “further strengthen the incentives for the companies to act quickly and reconnect customers as soon as possible”.
Hannah Nixon, Senior Partner for Distribution at Ofgem said: “Many parts of Britain have seen some extreme weather conditions over the last few months and Ofgem has been proactively looking at ways to help consumers who face disruption to their energy supply in these situations. We are committed to ensuring that consumers are provided with a reliable electricity service.”
The consultation will be open for eight weeks and those interested are invited to share their views.