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Ofgem Storm Arwen interim response report says customers made over 100,000 calls, with 16,000% more calls than normal


By Lewis McBlane

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A REPORT into the Storm Arwen response gives new information about the powerful storm.

SSEN - Storm Arwen - Customer Generator Delivery Picture Shows: An SSEN engineer delivering a portable generator to a venerable family at a remote cottage in Glenshee, Monday 29 November 2021...©Stuart Nicol Photography, 2021..
SSEN - Storm Arwen - Customer Generator Delivery Picture Shows: An SSEN engineer delivering a portable generator to a venerable family at a remote cottage in Glenshee, Monday 29 November 2021...©Stuart Nicol Photography, 2021..

Ofgem's new interim report into the energy industry's emergency response to Storm Arwen shows the scale of the challenges faced.

According to the report, Scottish and Southern Energy Network (SSEN) took over 100,000 calls during Storm Arwen about power outages in Scotland alone – 39,759 coming in a single day.

Compared to normal, this was an increase of nearly 16,000 per cent.

Moray MP Richard Lochhead said: “Recent storms have caused huge disruption and devastation in Moray and across the north of Scotland and it is important that Ofgem’s review into the response to Storm Arwen is thorough and ensures that the network is better able to handle severe weather events in the future.

“The interim report that has been published as part of the review is to be welcomed and in particular, I’m pleased to see issues around communication with customers and accuracy of updates are set to be investigated further.

"It is stating the obvious to say that good communication and providing people with reliable information is absolutely essential during these kind of storms, especially when people are left without power for a number of days.

“I understand that the speed of compensation payments will also be further reviewed, which is good to hear as I know that a number of constituents have had quite a wait for reimbursement and we do need arrangements in place that ensure people aren’t left out of pocket for too long."

The report comes in the wake of two recent major storms, Malik and Corrie, during which over 120,000 people needed their power restored.

Mr Lochhead said: “It may well be that these severe weather events are set to become much more frequent and it is vital that energy companies are investing in the network to ensure it is resilient and reliable.

"I’ve written to SSEN seeking more information on its plans in this regard and I’ll be keeping a close eye on Ofgem’s review going forward to ensure lessons are learned and we’re better prepared in future.”


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