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Moray family left in dark for five days fight for SSEN compensation – after neighbours get it automatically

SSEN engineers working on power cables near Portgordon
SSEN engineers working on power cables near Portgordon

A Moray family left without power for five days during a recent storm were told they could not get compensation – despite a neighbour 20 yards away qualifying.

Kirstyn Millar and her family, who live in Duffus, were among the thousands without lights or heat after Storm Arwen hit late last year.

SSEN has committed to paying compensation to customers left in the dark for a “continuous outage of 48 hours or more”.

Mrs Millar had expected to automatically qualify, but became infuriated about the “lack of communication” from the energy giant.

And when she discovered that her neighbour, who lives just 20 yards away but has a different postcode, had been given £480 she contacted the Press and Journal.

Mrs Millar and her family, who were without power for almost five days, over 100 hours, was originally told her postcode was not eligible for the pay-out as it showed the property was only without power for 41 hours.

Many relied on food trucks and welfare relief from local authorities and SSEN during the power outage.

‘No line of communication’

The mother-of-three, who lodged a complaint with SSEN, said: “There’s no line of communication, you get an e-mail and you reply to it and then you get told you’ll hear 15 days later and you don’t hear anything for weeks after.

“If you could speak to someone about it, and they were communicating with people more rather than just saying ‘we’re automatically awarding’ it would be better. How are they automatically awarding anyone? How do they know?”

SSEN has now apologised for the blunder, which was blamed on a “secondary fault” on the network.

Mrs Millar said she hopes other houses with a different postcode on the same line will also now be compensated appropriately.

“It would be a shame for them too because they were out for the exact same time,” she added.

An SSEN spokesman said: “Following notification of Mrs Millar’s inquiry we reviewed our fault records and, due to the presence of a secondary fault affecting the local network, the information we held was incorrect.

“We have now adjusted the time period applicable to the power cut and compensation payments will now be made to Mrs Millar and other customers also affected.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and would encourage anyone with outstanding queries regarding compensation from Storm Arwen to contact us on 105.”


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