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10 Apr 2022

'I was without power for seven days after Storm Arwen, where's my compensation?'

How to claim what you're entitled to if you're left without power after a storm

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?,

We lost power for seven days when Storm Arwen hit last year and are entitled to compensation.

Unfortunately we only received a cheque for £560 from Northern Powergrid who incorrectly stated we had only lost power for five days.

We've repeatedly tried to contact Northern Powergrid about the missing compensation but have found it difficult to get through to anyone or to get an adequate response.

Please could you help us get the rest of the compensation?

Alison

Put to Rights

Hannah Downes consumer rights expert at Which? says:

Losing power for a few hours can be hugely disruptive - no wonder you want the compensation you're entitled to after being left powerless for a week.

Typically your electricity distribution company has 24 hours to restore your electricity supply if it fails due to a storm.

Although after severe storms like Arwen or Eunice this deadline can be increased to 48 hours.

As you were without power for longer than this timeframe, you'll be entitled to £70, plus a further £70 for each additional period of 12 hours in which you were without power.

Usually compensation is capped at £700. But after Storm Arwen the regulator, Ofgem, lifted the £700 cap on compensation, meaning households could continue to claim up to £140 a day for every day they were without power.

We contacted Northern Powergrid to ask why you haven't yet received the full payment. It told us that compensation claims require a large amount of detail, including cross-referencing engineering reports with customer information, to establish what happened and to ensure that all customers affected are treated consistently.

Although it doesn't comment publicly on individual cases, it wants to reassure its customers that its teams are continuing to work through outstanding Storm Arwen compensation payments.

Shortly after we spoke with Northern Powergrid, Alison received a second cheque for the remaining redress.

Need to know

  • If your power isn't restored within 24 hours due to a storm, you're entitled to £70, with a further £70 for each additional period of 12 hours in which supply is not restored. For severe storms this deadline can be increased to 48 hours.
  • The difference in classification between a storm and a severe storm is related to the number of supply faults experienced in a 24-hour period.
  • Find out more about what you're entitled to and how to make a claim if you experience a power cut.

Get in touch.

The UK has been battered by a series of severe storms over the past few months, leaving thousands of households without power - if you too are awaiting compensation, or you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right, get in touch at yourstory@which.co.uk.

Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

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