Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
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Update on Storm Arwen

How the government is supporting those affected by Storm Arwen and what steps you can take if your power goes off.

Many people across the UK have been affected by Storm Arwen over the last few days, particularly those in Scotland and the North of England. The UK government is working closely with local network operators and operational teams to support those facing continued disruption caused by the storm particularly the most vulnerable.

Over the past 4 days network operator field staff have been working hard to restore power. Almost 1 million households have been affected, however 935,600 households have now had power restored, representing 97% of households affected.

It is now our top priority to work with electricity operators to ensure those still without power, particularly in more remote areas, are reconnected as quickly as possible.

Although freezing temperatures and snow are making working conditions particularly challenging, thousands of engineers are on the ground working to get power back on as quickly and safely as possible.

Electricity network operators are well-prepared to deal with power outages, and operational teams are on stand-by to deal with any repairs that need to be made to restore power supplies as quickly as possible.

Practical and safety steps to take if your power goes off

You should:

  • switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended
  • check on neighbours to see if they are safe and if they are also experiencing a power cut
  • call your network operator for free by dialling 105, or visit the 105 website for further information on any disruptions
  • check with your energy network operator to find out what accommodation support they may provide to customers affected by power cuts

There are welfare centres set up in some of the worst hit areas to provide hot food and respite, and energy network operators are working with the British Red Cross to provide extra help and support, particularly for vulnerable customers.

What if I need extra support or know of someone who is vulnerable?

Local network operators have a Priority Services Register to support customers who are vulnerable, elderly or may need extra assistance during power cuts. During disruptions, they can contact vulnerable customers registered in areas affected to offer any assistance that is needed in the event of a power cut.

Those who feel they need extra help can become a Priority Service Member for free.

More information about Priority Service Membership is available on the Energy Networks Association website, along with links for contacting your energy network operator to join their Priority Services scheme.

If your power has gone out and you are not a Priority Services Member but need help, speak to your network operator now to let them know.

You may also want to contact your council.

Can I get compensation for a power cut?

Ofgem, the independent regulator for the UK’s energy networks, sets service levels that companies must meet, with rules on how quickly network operators must restore power, and compensation payments to consumers if the standards are not met.

Information about applying for compensation is available from Ofgem’s website. Eligibility for compensation is dependent on the cause and length of the power cut.


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