The Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has lashed out at companies after it was revealed that more than 4,000 homes are still without power nine days after Storm Arwen hit. He called it “completely unacceptable” that people have been left waiting while temperatures are still low.
Mr Kwarteng made his remarks as he visited Durham to see the damage the storm has done to the area. The North-East holds the majority of the homes impacted by the power loss.
The Energy Networks Association (ENA) gave a report stating that 4,025 homes were still awaiting reconnection as of 8 am Sunday morning, the 5th of December. This figure is down from the 4,700 homes reported on Saturday night.
Mr Kwarteng said: “As I said 99.5% of people are back on, now for the 4,000 I think it’s completely unacceptable that they are still off power, that is why I have instituted a review into whether the companies have invested enough.
“Ofgem are looking at this and of course there will be some sort of enforcement measure to make sure the companies are held to account, that’s very important.”
The energy secretary was called out for his delay in coming to the areas affected by Storm Arwen. He replied that he had “ been working tirelessly all week to make sure 99.5% got power immediately”.
The visit came as more weather warnings have been put in place for the UK on Tuesday 7 December. Yellow snow warnings are out for Southern and Western Scotland and yellow wind warnings for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Stewart Sexton, from Alnwick in Northumberland, is on day 10 without power. “Yesterday we had confirmation that it would be on by close of play today,” the 57-year-old told the PA news agency.
“NPG (Northern Powergrid) even called us back to say yes, confirmed, back on the fifth. However, it’s blowing 40mph with rain here today so that confirmation is highly unlikely, if not impossible.”
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