SSEN Distribution to provide enhanced support to customers and communities affected by Storm Arwen

 

  • SSEN to voluntarily increase statutory compensation payments by 20%, recognising the exceptional impact of the once-in-a generation event. Customers will receive up to an additional £210 depending on how long they were without power.
  • An additional £500,000 will be added to the 2022 SSEN Resilient Communities Fund, supporting more community resilience projects across the north of Scotland
  • The total value of the enhanced package is £2.5m and is in addition to statutory compensation where SSEN has already agreed to lift the cap of £700. This means the worst affected customers will benefit by an additional £560 in total.


Following the extensive impact of Storm Arwen which caused significant damage to the electricity network in the north of Scotland, SSEN Distribution is offering enhanced support to its customers and communities affected by the disruption. 

The damage caused to SSEN’s network by Storm Arwen was unprecedented in some areas, with the North East region experiencing the equivalent of almost two years’ worth of overhead line faults in just one 12-hour period.  Following a week of intensive effort by the over 800-strong team, power was restored to all customers on Sunday evening.

SSEN’s enhanced package of support has both a customer and community element. In a unique recognition of the exceptional impact on customers as a result of the weather event, SSEN will add a 20% goodwill payment to the statutory compensation values set by the energy regulator, Ofgem.  

This additional payment is designed to ensure those impacted most by Storm Arwen will receive more, and the payment will increase depending on the amount of time a customer was without power. For example, customers reconnected after seven days will receive an additional £154 on top of their £770 statutory payment.

Both the standard and additional compensation payments will be made automatically, where possible, as soon as data verification is complete. Payments will be issued before Christmas to as many customers as SSEN can process, with those most affected given priority.  

As a priority, and separate to automatic compensation payments, SSEN is also processing reimbursement to customers for reasonable hotel accommodation and food expenses. Affected customers are asked to submit claims to Storm.Payments@ssen.co.uk, including all receipts.

Another area tested by Storm Arwen was the resilience of the communities impacted.  Throughout the storm response, SSEN worked collaboratively with local resilience partnerships across Angus, Grampian, Perthshire and Stirlingshire, taking a multi-agency approach to ensure the safety and welfare of the public. 

In recognition of this critical area, SSEN will make an additional £500,000 contribution to the SSEN Resilient Communities Fund, which delivers financial grants to community and not-for-profit organisations for support with community resilience projects. This additional contribution will take the 2022 Resilient Communities Fund total to £1million for the north of Scotland, with the funding round brought forward to January 2022.

The total value of this additional support to customers and communities is £2.5m and is in addition to the statutory compensation SSEN will pay to customers in line with Ofgem’s Guaranteed Standards process, where SSEN has agreed to lift the cap for this event.

SSEN Managing Director, Chris Burchell, said: 

“The intensity and impact of Storm Arwen brought many challenges to SSEN, but I fully recognise the challenges faced by the communities we serve have been even greater. I’d like to thank customers for their patience as our teams worked tirelessly to restore power and also to recognise the support we received from our community partners to help protect those customers most in need.

“We recognise this is an exceptional situation and are making a fair and proportionate goodwill increase to the standard compensation available for customers, supporting those most affected.  This 20% enhancement will be paid automatically and combined with lifting the payment cap, for those last to be reconnected, will result in an additional payment of £560. 

“We would also like to recognise the crucial role of community resilience and are making an additional £500,000 contribution to our Resilient Communities fund, increasing our total commitment to £1million.  This fund has done a great deal to improve community resilience in the north of Scotland over recent years and I look forward to continuing to work with our local communities to progress projects across the region in this vital area.”

Two of the local authorities in areas worst hit by Storm Arwen welcomed the announcement of additional support from SSEN:

Jim Savege, Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council, said:


“This announcement from SSEN will be incredibly welcomed, on a community and individual level. The impact of Storm Arwen will have created hardship for lots of people and I am hopeful that this announcement will make a difference and keep them resilient in future.

“What our communities have been through in the past week or more has been unprecedented. It is testament to the power and resilience of the communities that they have supported each other throughout this, and my huge thanks to everyone who stepped up. The phenomenal work and effort from our partnership teams who have been using every mechanism available to them in challenging circumstances to keep people safe is also important to recognise. 

“We, as a group of partners, are still responding to this incident. Support for those who need it within our communities continues, as we start moving closer towards and through the recovery phase and our work continues to ensure we can move our communities back to business as usual.” 

Welcoming the increased support from SSEN, Angus Council Communities Convenor, Cllr Mark Salmond, said:

"Storm Arwen had a big impact on a lot of families and communities. I’d like to extend my thanks to the amazing effort of local communities, council teams, partners and engineers who worked night and day, in extremely challenging conditions and terrain, to get power back to homes and businesses.

“Angus Council is developing similar investment proposals by building on our excellent collaborative response to Storm Arwen. I look forward to working closely with SSEN to support Angus communities in delivering local support to people when such incidents occur." 

SSEN enhanced compensation guide 

 

2 days

3 days

4 days

5 days

6 days

7 days

8 days

9 days

Standard
(without cap)

£70

£210

£350

£490

£630

£770

£910

£1,050

20% SSEN Enhancement

£14

£42

£70

£98

£126

£154

£182

£210

Enhanced payment

£84

£252

£420

£588

£756

£924

£1,092

£1,260


Note: compensation will be paid in increments of 12 hours following the first 48 hours.  These increments will be £84, increased from £70, following the SSEN enhancement. For example, for a power cut of 6.5 days the compensation payable would be £840.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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