Winter storm power cut compensation payouts cost UK energy companies an extra £3.3m

Guy Bentley
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Energy regulator Ofgem has announced it has secured an additional £3.3m from SSE and UKPN following its investigation into the companies' performance during the dramatic storms seen last Christmas.

The regulator has now landed a total of £8m from the two energy firms, which had to payout to the 1m households that suffered power cuts at some point during the crisis.

The minimum payment per customer was hiked from £27 to £70 for those who had to go at least 24 hours without power.

SSE and UKPN had already shelled out £4.7m in compensation to customers. Of those cut off during the storm, 16,000 endured more than two days without power.

Ofgem's senior partner for distribution Maxine Frerk, commented: "A power cut at Christmas time is the last thing anyone needs. 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."

The extra £3.3m payout will be used to assist organisations such as the British Red Cross, which Ofgem said played an important role in helping vulnerable customers.

UKPN have said they have already taken steps to improve their service through measures such as training more call-takers, damage assessment teams and customer information officers.

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