Emergency power cut helpline to launch

An emergency helpline for householders in the event of power cuts is to be set up in the wake of the Christmas blackouts. Energy Secretary Ed Davey made the announcement […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

An emergency helpline for householders in the event of power cuts is to be set up in the wake of the Christmas blackouts.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey made the announcement along with a review into the response to the power cuts, which is believed to have affected 750,000 people over the Christmas period.

Mr Davey met with six electricity network bosses yesterday and said the Government would examine communications with household energy customers, resources that were available to cope with the power cuts and if customers were properly compensated.

Network companies are legally obliged to compensate people in the event of a power cut, with the amount increasing depending on the number of days. Some firms said they would pay a lot more as a “goodwill gesture” as the disruptions were over Christmas.

The Energy Secretary paid tribute to the hard work of the engineers but said: “Clearly, communications with customers must be at the heart of this review as in some cases households were not kept informed of what was being done to help them or when they were likely to be reconnected.

“In particular, people need to know how to contact the network operator in their region if there is a power cut and we’re looking to introduce a single emergency number which people can call irrespective of where they live.”

The meeting was also attended by Ofgem and the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee.