A Conservative MP said the way Northern Powergrid responded to the Storm Arwen was a “total disgrace”.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Dehenna Davison MP for Bishop Aukland said: “I associate myself with the concerns raised by my County Durham colleagues – not least the shock that I think we all felt at learning in a meeting with Durham County Council on Friday that the communications from Northern Powergrid had meant that the response from the local resilience forum was slowed by about five days.
“That meant we could not get boots on the ground or house-to-house support for the people who needed it. Five days wasted—that is an absolute disgrace. We really need to ensure that we hold Northern Powergrid’s heels to the flame for that one.”
Northern Powergrid told ELN: “We’re very sorry for the hardship and disruption our customers experienced as we battled to reconnect supplies to 240,000 homes and businesses after one of the most powerful and damaging winter storms to hit the UK in decades.
“The scale and impact of Storm Arwen devastated parts of our network. Our top priority was to safely reconnect our customers as soon as we could, keep them informed to the best of our abilities and do everything we could to support the wider effort in our communities aimed at helping those who needed us the most.”
The company added that the storm showed that there were areas where it needed to improve, including the way it uses its systems to communicate with its customers during major power cuts.
It continued: “We’ve already made some changes and will learn more lessons from the reviews that will follow. Now the power is back on, we are focused on proactively organising compensation for our customers in line with industry guaranteed standards.”