Energy customers to receive compensation

RESIDENTS in a market town who have been buying torches and portable camper stoves after a series of power cuts are expecting to be offered compensation from electricity bosses.

John Howard

RESIDENTS in a market town who have been buying torches and portable camper stoves after a series of power cuts are expecting to be offered compensation from electricity bosses.

Families living in Kent Road, Stowmarket, have been plagued by power failures at all hours for a week and are pleased EDF Energy is to offer pay-outs.

Claire Wright, a 26-year-old mother of two young children who is heavily pregnant, said: “It's been absolutely appalling. My little three-year-old boy, Alfie, is asthmatic and in his room if the air purifier goes off he starts to wheeze.

“I have been borrowing a gas ring for hot water and torches. The kids are petrified. This really should have been dealt with quicker.”

Lynda Robinson, 46, who is disabled, went out and bought a very powerful torch and portable camper gas cooker to help her cope with the power cuts.

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Ms Robinson, who has two grown up children and four grandchildren, said: “We would wake up in the morning to have a shower and there is no hot water. You worried about starting a meal and then losing power. I am now prepared because I have bought a little gas stove out of my own money.

“But we just keep worrying that the electric will go off again. Being disabled I need lighting to see where I am walking, and the power just goes out at all hours.

“Easter Sunday electricity went off about 4.15pm and came on again 6pm, and then went off again that evening. Since then it has been going on and off over about a week. We are pleased that we will be getting some compensation.”

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said yesterday: “We would like to apologise to customers in the Kent Road area of Stowmarket for the recent power interruptions.

“An intermittent fault on the network serving the area has caused a number of power cuts. The cable fault has proved particularly difficult to locate. Sometimes the heat caused by a fault can reseal the cable, making the problem difficult to find when engineers arrive.

“We installed a piece of equipment designed to restore supplies if necessary whilst our work continued in the area.”

She said that like all distribution companies the firm operates to standards set by the regulator, Ofgem, and in line with these regulations customers who have experienced four or more power cuts in a year, running from April 1 to the following March 31, each of more than three hours, can claim a £50 payment.

“Our customer relations team are writing to those customers in Kent Road who are eligible for this payment,” she said.

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