Ofgem has ordered energy companies SSE and UK Power Networks (UKPN) to pay an additional £3.3 million for prolonged power cuts during the Christmas storms.
The regulator’s investigation showed the firms could have reconnected customers faster last December when nearly one million homes were left without electricity. Around 16,000 customers had no power for more than 48 hours.
Maxine Frerk, Ofgem’s Senior Partner for Distribution said: “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.”
SSE and UKPN have already paid £4.7 million to customers and will now donate £3.3 million to organisations like the British Red Cross, which helps vulnerable people during power cuts and severe storms.
Ofgem has also confirmed an increase in payments for customers who face long power cuts in severe weather, which will come into force in April next year.
The minimum financial payment will rise from £27 to £70 if people are without power for at least 24 hours during a severe weather event, the cap for payments made to customers will rise from £216 to £700 and energy firms will have to make automatic payments where possible.