Electricity network companies face grilling after thousands left without power

Tim Yeo

MPs are to summon the head of the electricity distribution companies to explain why it took so long to reconnect power to many homes following the winter storms.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the House of Commons’ Energy & Climate Change Committee, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that the power companies’ performance was “unacceptable”.

Yeo said:

“I’m very concerned about how long the network distribution companies took to restore power to thousands of customers. The committee will call them in when the house gets back.

“I’m already concerned that these distribution companies are not properly scrutinised by Ofgem, despite being effectively monopolies. Their performance over Christmas was unacceptable.”

Environmental Secretary Owen Paterson told the BBC that the network companies had “let their customers down badly”.

Paterson added:

“It seems obvious at this stage that they let too many of their staff go away for the Christmas holiday, they didn’t have enough people manning the call centres and that wasn’t acceptable.”

Their comments came as Basil Scarsella, chief executive of UK Power Networks, the company that supplies eight million homes and businesses admitted his firm “could and should have done more” to restore supplies after thousands of homes were left without power for up to five days.


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