Updated on 6th December, 2022 by Martin Astley
Have you had to endure a power cut recently? When the power networks break down, appliance breakdowns and home emergencies can follow shortly afterwards, and homes can become very unpleasant very quickly.
If your electricity cuts out in the middle of a storm, then the stress of the experience can be magnified – you might be unable to go out for a walk or find alternative entertainment when the weather is terrible, and could be forced to sit in a cold, damp, dark house waiting for the time to pass and the lights to come back on.
If you’re frustrated that your lights and appliances don’t work in a power cut, then you might not consider yourself lucky, but you’re more fortunate than you realise – many people need their domestic energy supply to run vital medical equipment, and long-term power cuts can pose a real risk to these people’s health and even lead to unnecessary deaths.
But did you know that you can be compensated should you be left without power for more than 24 hours? And that Ofgem has just increased the minimum financial payment you should receive in this situation to £70, from its previous figure of £27?
The maximum amount of compensation you could receive in a power cut has also been dramatically increased, from £216 to £700; money you could use to fund the emergency electrical repairs and appliance repairs a long-term power cut could lead to, or that you could even use to take out a lengthy home emergency cover package with 247 Home Rescue.
This compensation increase shouldn’t just help energy users deal with the fall-out of a power cut, of course, but should also give energy companies a big financial incentive to deal with black-outs as quickly as possible and connect people up to the energy grid before they become liable to pay hundreds of pounds to thousands of people.
The levels of compensation people can receive following extensive power cuts have been too low for far too long, and people who are vulnerable to electricity outages during adverse weather events will undoubtedly be pleased by Ofgem’s decision.
In related news, Ofgem has also fined electricity supplier and boiler cover provider SSE and distribution network operator UKPN £3.3 million after investigating the companies’ performance during the storms the south of England saw last winter. This payment comes in addition to the £4.7 million that the firms already paid out in goodwill and standard payments.
Ofgem’s investigators found that UKPN and SSE could have done more to get people reconnected to the power grid quickly than they did at the time, and that they could have better updated energy users. Both firms admitted that there are lessons they could learn from their performance during these winter storms, which saw around 16,000 people left without electricity for over two days. Ofgem told the energy industry that if last year’s performance recurs, further action will be taken against distributors and suppliers.
The £3.3 million payment will be made towards the British Red Cross and other organisations that assist people during poor weather and power cuts.
Having trouble with your electrics?
Don’t attempt to make any changes to your electricals if you are unsure or not confident. Some electrical work in the home requires compliance with Part P building control and needs to be done in accordance with BS7671 wiring regulations. Don’t forget – electricity is VERY dangerous and can kill you.
Instead, call 24|7 Home Rescue on 0345 3192 247 and we can help. Our technical teams will run through some very simple troubleshooting with you over the phone to see if your problem can be resolved easily and if not, they will book one of our qualified and highly knowledgeable Part P certified engineers to get you back up and running as soon as possible.