Ofgem boss tells industry to ‘up your game’ after damning Storm Arwen report
Ofgem boss Jonathan Brearley told power firms to “up your game” and “get ready for winter”, after the watchdog exposed the poor performance of several network operators during Storm Arwen.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he argued companies were “not well prepared” for the storm.
This follows an Ofgem review into the industry’s response to Storm Arwen last November, which delivered winds of over 100mph, resulting in three casualties and saw one million households suffer power outages.
Over 4,000 people were left without power in North-East England and Scotland for over a week.
Ofgem’s review revealed some customers affected by the storm remained off power for an “unacceptable amount of time” with 28 per cent given a restoration time that was not within 24 hours of their power returning.
It also exposed poor communication from network operators, and that compensation payments took too long.
UK energy network operators will now have to implement new, more stringent measures to handle severe weather events in line with regulator recommendations, revealed the government today.
This includes submitting winter preparedness plans and the improving the speed of compensation payments for customers.
Following the storm, three network operators – Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Electricity North West – paid over £34m in direct compensation and have now agreed to pay a further £10m in redress payments
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “It’s clear that thousands of customers were badly let down by electricity network companies, which is why I launched this review to identify and address any failings.”
“This action plan will ensure better preparedness for future storms, boosting the security of our electricity system and protecting families.”