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Power company halfway through compensation process

Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution reveals it has yet to reimburse 10,000 customers

Alistair Wilson A fallen tree on Hawley Lane, Blackwater
The storms resulted in fallen trees and cut power to thousands of homes

Customers still waiting for compensation following power cuts that plunged thousands of homes into darkness at Christmas have been asked to show patience.

Stormy weather at the end of December brought down power lines and left around 20,500 homes in Aldershot, Mytchett, Winchfield, Crookham Village, Dogmersfield, Hook and Farnham without power on Christmas Eve.

While engineers worked through the night and on Christmas Day, many of these were unable to cook Christmas dinner or heat their homes.

Despite Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution (SSEPD) insisting that it did all it could to restore power as quickly as possible, compensation was offered to all affected customers.

However, two months on, many customers are yet to receive any cash, with SSEPD admitting it is only halfway through the 20,800 requests it received for compensation.

So far, around 10,000 cheques to the value of £1.1m have been issued to homeowners nationwide, meaning it could be a further two months before the entire list has been dealt with.

A spokesman for SSEPD said: “We're making good progress with a large number of compensation requests. We do realise there are some customers that we have not yet got to.

“I can’t give an exact date of when the remaining customers will receive their compensation. Each request has to be dealt with individually and we’ve drafted in extra staff to do that.”

They suggested that affected customers contact SSEPD directly using details on the company’s website www.ssepd.co.uk. In January, SSEPD offered all customers without power for any length of time on Christmas Day £75 in compensation.

All domestic and business customers without power for 48 hours were told they could claim £54, with further payments of £54 being made for each subsequent 12-hour period.

With Southern Electric stating that an estimated 350 homes in the Aldershot area were still without power on the morning of December 27, and many more beyond that, compensation in this area could total around £166,000.

The payments for Christmas Day power cuts alone will cost nearly £230,000 in this area.

The not-so-festive disruption came after SEPD pledged to ‘make sure the lights stayed on’ at Christmas after the St Jude storm ripped through the area in October.

Following the Christmas blackout, Mark Mathieson, managing director of Southern Electric, SSEPD’s regional office, said he was ‘immensely proud’ of the work of the engineers, as 95% of homes without power on Christmas Eve had it restored the following day.

He described affected customers as ‘true heroes’ and invited their feedback on the service offered by the power compan

 
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