Northern Powergrid has provided answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Please see these below:
I live in a house of multiple occupancy/block of flats/rented property or similar and my electricity is supplied via a submeter.
- Is my individual household eligible for compensation?
Where there has been hardship for people who are not directly linked to our network, and are therefore not eligible for a guaranteed standard compensation payment, we will, where appropriate and on a case-by-case basis, consider some reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred through discretionary welfare support payments. Information on guaranteed standards payments eligibility and how to access welfare support reimbursement is openly available on our dedicated Storm Arwen page on our website.
- Will you have my individual household’s details to compensate me automatically?
People who permanently reside in a property that is not directly linked electrically to our network and are renting the property are always encouraged to discuss their electricity payment arrangements with their landlord and the implications and working practices of their individual supply arrangement. If a direct metered connection is required in the future more information is available on our website about how to get connected.
I live on a new build estate and so my power is not delivered by Northern Powergrid on the last mile. The failure points during the storm were Northern Powergrid’s equipment.
- Who is responsible for my compensation?
The customer’s network operator is responsible for paying any due compensation. If a customer’s network operator is an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) they will organise the payment. Customers can check who their network operator is on the Energy Networks Association (ENA) website Who’s my energy supplier or network operator? – Energy Networks Association (ENA)
- Who is responsible for intervening in any disputes should NPg/the other power delivery company disagree?
If a customer is unhappy in regards to regulatory compensation, in the first instance they should contact their Distribution Network Operator (DNO) who will investigate their claim. The Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2015 provide that a dispute may be referred to Ofgem for determination in accordance with the practice and procedure set out in Schedule 3 of the Regulations.
I disagree with the amount of compensation you have sent me.
- How do I dispute this?
If you believe you are due more compensation than you have received, please cash the cheque you’ve already received then email us at Compensationfirstname.lastname@example.org outlining the times you were off supply. We will fully review your query, and where any additional compensation is due, organise the remaining payment to be issued to you as soon as we can. We will try at all times to resolve your complaint as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- When will you respond by as I’ve not heard anything back from you?
Please be assured our teams are focused on completing compensations payments as soon as we can. If we need any further information to progress your compensation, we will contact you proactively so you do not need to contact us.
My address does not show on your website.
- How am I supposed to communicate with you?
If your address does not show on the power cut map system on our website this is likely because you are in a relatively new build development, you are outside our operating area, or that your supply has been provided by an Independent Distribution Network Operator (INDO). In this instance you would need to contact us on one of our social media channels or speak to one of our contact centre advisors by calling us on 105.
- How will you send my compensation if your system doesn’t recognise my address?
In this instance you would need to speak to one of our contact centre advisors by calling us on 105.
Why were you consistently telling us that power that would be back much sooner than it actually was?
The scale of the damage was extensive and due to the ongoing challenging weather conditions, we were unable to start the necessary aerial inspections or work safely on overhead power lines until the Sunday afternoon. Wherever possible we restored customers’ supplies by switching electricity through alternative routes on our network. The inspections, which had to be carried out across extensive spans of our network from the air and from the ground, unveiled the true extent of damage and helped to inform our restoration programme which was one of the largest and most complex we have ever undertaken in a weather event. We had more than 1,200 concurrent reports of damage which required teams to be allocated to assess and coordinate restoration and carry out temporary and/or permanent repairs.
We recognise that it is frustrating not to be given an exact estimate of when the lights will come back on, but in these circumstances the reality is that we are unable to be as precise as we would be under normal circumstances.
The size of the task was of a scale not seen since a weather event back in 2005. The work was very resource intensive due to the scale of the damage. For example, in Teesdale and Weardale we successfully completed in one week a major overhead line construction project spanning almost 7km that would normally take many weeks and did it in extremely challenging conditions. In other locations we had hundreds of time-intensive restoration work incidents with multiple points of damage that were geographically spread out across our operational areas that would only bring small clusters of customers back on supply at any one time. This inevitably meant that restoration for all customers was extended which we understand was frustrating for those affected customers.
There seemed to be a lack of communication between
Yourselves and us:
- How will you make sure we are able to get information given our power is off/internet is not working/no phone signal/rurality of area?
We aim to work more closely with Local Resilience Forums to provide updates on the ground more locally.
- Yourselves internally:
- Why did information not reach down to call centre operatives, who told me incorrect information?
- Why did information from the ground not get passed back up the chain of command?
Our contact centre advisors and front line teams are joined by our systems, however due to the size and scale of this event the information being shared wasn’t always as up to date as it would be under normal circumstances.