Ofgem wants to make distribution network operators (DNOs) double the minimum payments to customers who face long power cuts in severe weather.
The energy watchdog’s package of proposed reforms to the Guaranteed Standards Payments would mean:
- DNOs doubling payments to £70 if they fail to meet minimum service levels
- an increased cap for payments to customers – from £216 to £700
- payments to be made automatically wherever possible.
Hannah Nixon, Ofgem’s senior partner for distribution, said: “Many parts of Britain have seen some extreme weather conditions over the last few months and Ofgem has been proactively looking at ways to help consumers who face disruption to their energy supply in these situations.
“We are committed to ensuring that consumers are provided with a reliable electricity service. During the 2013 Christmas storms, 95 per cent of customers who faced power cuts were reconnected within 24 hours, but we remain concerned about the 5 per cent whose supplies were off for an extended period. Increasing the financial payments would send a strong message to the network companies that they need to do all that they can to reconnect all customers as fast as possible.”
Following an eight-week consultation, Ofgem will publish its decision by 1 July 2014.