Power surge customer still waiting

A POWER surge that left an elderly woman without heating and hot water for more than two days is today still making her life a misery.Elfride Bloomfield, 78, had to resort to using her gas cooker to keep her home warm after a power surge left her without heating and hot water for 51 hours.

A POWER surge that left an elderly woman without heating and hot water for more than two days is today still making her life a misery.

Elfride Bloomfield, 78, had to resort to using her gas cooker to keep her home warm after a power surge left her without heating and hot water for 51 hours.

The power cut hit four homes in Woodpecker Road, on the Chantry estate, on New Year's Eve and power company, EDF Energy, was later forced to cut off the supply of electricity to a further 19 homes in order to resolve the problem.

The surge caused thousands of pounds damage to appliances in several homes, leaving some residents, including Mrs Bloomfield, without heating or hot water.


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Today EDF Energy apologised to those affected and promised to compensate them.

Mrs Bloomfield's daughter, Trudie Branch, of Felixstowe Road, Martlesham, said lessons had to be learned from what has happened.

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She said: “I have been very annoyed about it because they've left her wide open and vulnerable, my mum has a lot of mobility problems and she's not able to walk to the shops easily.

“She also has an embolism and she's taking medication to thin her blood so she was very cold when she had no heating.”

Ian Branch, Mrs Bloomfield's son-in-law, said: “We are still in the process of trying to sort things out with all the paperwork involved in getting things repaired or replaced.

“It's been a nightmare; just seeing all the stuff sitting outside the back door covered in plastic and having all the facilities there that we've had to loan temporarily.”

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said: “We would like to apologise to this customer as we do understand how uncomfortable it must have been without power and heating for such a long time.

“We always endeavour to get help to customers who are especially vulnerable at such a time and we have discussed this matter further with our specialist contractors today to try to learn from this incident.

“We will replace and repair damaged goods like for like. In addition to which we are making a payment

of £50 to all 23 customers affected under OFGEM'S Guaranteed Standard as their supply was off continuously in excess of 18 hours.”

Customers usually have to apply for this compensation in writing, but EDF Energy is making the payment proactively as a gesture of goodwill.

Were you affected by the power surge? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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