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1 January 2014, 07:46
Southern Electric have revealed what compensation they will pay customers on the South Coast hit by power cuts over Christmas because of those severe storms.
The firm is offering anyone without electricity for 48 hours £54, then the same amount for every 12 hour period after that.
People who had no power at any point on Christmas Day will get £75.
Thousands of homes across Hampshire and Dorset were left without any electricity after heavy rain and strong winds on 23 December, with many remaining disconnected for up to five days as engineers struggled to access rural areas to make repairs.
In a statement, Southern Electric said:
"The gale force winds of up to 80mph and heavy rain that moved through the south of England on 23 and 24 December lasted many hours resulted in extensive flooding, fallen trees and considerable damage to our network.
"We had prepared for the bad weather and mobilised over 500 engineers and support staff who worked with determination and dedication from early in the morning to late into the night throughout the festive period to repair around 850 separate faults, many of which were initially inaccessible due to the conditions. During this time, we restored power to over 130,000 customers, with around 95% of those who lost power early on Christmas Eve having their power restored on Christmas Day and the final customers by 28 December.
"Our customers’ patience during this time was exceptional and, to provide support during the power cut, we provided hot meals and accommodation. However, in recognition of the severity of the event, we are offering all domestic and business customers who were without electricity for 48 hours a payment of £54 and further payments of £54 for each subsequent full 12 hour period.
"The timing of this weather event will have disrupted many of our customers’ Christmas plans, and some will not be eligible for these payments. Hence we are extending our goodwill payments so that any customer who was without electricity for any time on Christmas Day, regardless of the duration of the power cut, will be guaranteed £75.
"We will be writing to all customers that we believe are eligible for payment, however, you can also apply online by completing the form below. You don't have to do anything else after completing the form. Please note: we will endeavour to get a cheque in the post to you within three to five weeks.
"Customers on the Priority Services Register will be made automatic payments, as we already have their details.
"Finally, we are keen to receive any views on how we could improve the experience of customers during a power cut and would welcome your feedback. If you have any suggestions please email them to: email@example.com.
"Once again, we would like to thank you for your patience during this time.