BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor, Felixstowe editor
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
TRADERS who were forced to shut up shop and send staff home after their businesses were hit by a power cut will not get compensation for lost takings.
UK Power Networks said the black-out did not last long enough – most traders had no electricity for 13 hours and payments only kick-in after 18 hours, and shopkeepers would still have only been entitled to a standard payment of £108.
Five stores in Felixstowe’s Hamilton Road shared space area lost power about 7.45am on Monday with a further three suffering problems at 10am.
Owners said the loss of a day’s takings would be substantial.
Bill Hewlett, owner of The Sandwich Shop, one of those affected, said the lack of compensation for his lost business was “disappointing”.
He said: “I am talking to my insurers but it’s too early to say if we will be able to claim.”
A spokesman for UK Power Networks said all eight customers were back on supply at 8.40pm Monday.
Problems had been caused by a fault on a low voltage underground cable. Part of the shared space scheme had to be dug up to reach the cable and make the repair.
Further repair work was being carried out yesterday but no further disruption was expected.
The spokesman said Ofgem, the industry regulator, set Guaranteed Standards for electricity distribution companies.
“If we fail to meet these standards, you are entitled to receive a payment. Such payments are not ‘compensation’ and do not take into account individual inconvenience or losses,” he said.
“However, they are intended to demonstrate goodwill in a consistent, fair and speedy way in response to a significant incident.”
Payments are £54 for a residential customer and £108 for a business.