Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) has voluntarily increased statutory compensation payments by 20 per cent in recognition of the exceptional impact of the once-in-a-generation event.
As SSEN has already agreed to lift the compensation cap of £700, this means the worst affected customers will benefit by an additional £560.
Compensation will be paid in increments of 12 hours following the first 48 hours. These increments will be £84, increased from the statutory £70, following the SSEN enhancement.
So customers reconnected after seven days will receive an additional £154 on top of their £770 statutory payment.
Chris Burchell, SSEN managing director, 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.==.”
Mr Burchell added: “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.”
The damage caused to SSEN’s network by Storm Arwen was unprecedented, with the North-east region experiencing the equivalent of almost two years’ worth of overhead line faults in just one 12-hour period. A team of over 800 SSEN engineers worked to restore the power, but it was more than week before all customers were reconnected.
Jim Savege, chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council, welcomed the increased compensation for customers whi were left without power.
“The impact of Storm Arwen created hardship for lots of people and I am hopeful that this announcement will make a difference and keep them resilient in future,” he said.
“What our communities have been through 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.”
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 [email protected], including all receipts.