After a large number of households were left without power over Christmas due to severe storms and consequent flooding, ministers have announced plans to create an emergency power cut helpline.
Plans for the phone line were unveiled alongside the announcement that a review would be taking place to look into the long response time, which left many without energy for extended periods of time.
In total, 750,000 people were affected by power cuts over the Christmas period.
Cameron: Energy companies weren’t prepared
Prime Minister David Cameron, recently criticized the response of energy companies over Christmas and said: “Some of energy companies didn’t have enough people over the holiday period for emergency response. I saw that for myself in Kent.”
The Energy Networks Association, which represents power networks, defended response times and said companies were dealing with some of the most substantial damage in decades.
‘Communications with customers must be at the heart of this review’
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “I fully understand the frustration felt by people whose Christmases were spoiled because of power disruptions, but I also want to pay tribute to the hard work of the engineers who battled appalling weather conditions to try to reconnect homes as quickly as possible.
“Clearly, communications with customers must be at the heart of this review as in some cases households were not kept informed of what was being done to help them or when they were likely to be reconnected.
“In particular, people need to know how to contact the network operator in their region if there is a power cut, and we’re looking to introduce a single emergency number which people can call irrespective of where they live.”