ELECTRICITY companies, both in Scotland and in England, have been criticised for their response in dealing with the repercussions caused by Storm Arwen.

Energy regulator, Ofgem, found in their report that around one million were affected by the harsh weather conditions, of which a large part was felt by households in Scotland and in Cumbria.

The report shows that approximately 40,000 customers were without supply for more than three days, and nearly 4,000 customers were off supply for over a week, a stat which Ofgem has criticised as being ‘unacceptable’ from energy providers.

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Electricity North West (ENW) are amongst those who are being criticised for their failure to act quicker and communication lines but also when it comes to paying out compensation.

At the time of the storm ENW witnessed 93,000 homes losing power,  of which 18,000 were restored in three minutes, 65,000 after 48 hours, with 9,000 being off for longer and ultimately due compensation in line with Ofgem rules.

At this point, ENW have paid over £4m in compensation to those affected.

Electricity North West engagement director, Paul Bircham, said: "Storm Arwen was the worst storm we’ve seen in many years and we’ve been working closely with Ofgem, government and those affected to learn lessons from it.

"We paid £2.1m in mandatory compensation payments to 9,000 customers within three months and voluntarily paid another £2.1m to customers over and above the rules set out by Ofgem," he said. 

The report also found that emergency plans were not sufficient to deal with the scale of the storm and some district network operators (DNOs) did not adapt their resources or strategies quickly enough. 

"As a result of our engagement with local communities we are bringing forward £5m of investment to improve network resilience and improve the accuracy of our estimated restoration times. We’re also establishing a new resilience fund for communities that are at greater risk of power cuts during severe weather events – particularly those in rural areas – which we will announce in time for applications before winter,” Mr Bircham said.

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