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Government review into energy supply problems

Yesterday the RT Hon ED Davey MP, Energy Secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, met with Ofgem, The Energy Networks Association and energy Distribution Network Operators to discuss how they reacted to household power cuts caused by some of the worst winter weather seen in decades.  ED Davey thanked the Chief Executives of the various energy organisations for their hard work in reconnecting customers but wanted to identify lessons which could be learned.  He also announced that a review in their response to the energy supply disruption will report to the Secretary of State within two months.

The review will concentrate on communications with domestic energy customers, contingency plans to ensure that an adequate level of resources is available to cope with widespread disruption to energy supplies and the process for compensating affected households.    It was suggested that a single emergency telephone number should be set up for affected customers to call, regardless of their energy supplier or where they lived.

Ed Davey said that he fully understood the “frustration felt by people whose Christmases were spoiled because of power disruptions” but that he also wanted to “pay tribute to the hard work of the engineers” who struggled to reconnect energy supplies.

The meeting was attended by CEOs from Scottish Power Energy Networks, Western Power Distribution, UK Power Networks, Northern Powergrid, Electricity Northwest, Ofgem and the Energy Networks Association, together with the MD of Scottish & Southern Energy Networks and Chair of the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee.

In separate news, Owen Paterson, The Environment Secretary chaired a meeting of COBRA, the Government’s emergency committee to discuss the effects of further severe weather and the risks of flooding.  And Prime Minister David Cameron told the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC that the Government was “spending £2.3 billion in this four year period on flood defences”.

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