Customers affected by the storm that ravaged the UK over the festive period are to receive payments as a “gesture of good will”.
Power companies were criticised after they failed to restore power to almost 2,000 homes across the south of England within 24 hours, leaving many without power for Christmas Day.
According to UK Power Networks, which owns distribution lines across London and the south-east, around 300,000 were left without power when a storm and flash floods hit the UK on Christmas Eve.
In a statement, a spokesperson said, “Our hearts go out to our customers and we have been trying different ways to help them, from arranging Christmas dinners to providing more help and tools on our website.”
They added, “As a gesture of goodwill UK Power Networks has decided to boost the industry standard payment from £27 to £75 for customers who are without power for 48-60 hours including Christmas Day, and additional payments will be made to any customers off supply for longer up to a maximum of £432.”
Many weather alerts remain in place across parts of central and southern England.
David Cameron was greeted by angry residents in Yalding, Kent, after the village was devastated by flash floods over Christmas. Residents complained that they were not given enough notice and that they were left abandoned by the authorities.
One resident told the Guardian, “The people he is talking to, the Environment Agency and so on, they weren’t here,” he said. “I swam this road on Christmas Day, pulling people out on my own. There was no one here on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. A lot of families have lost a lot.”
Authorities were hindered in their efforts to deal with the first storm by the arrival of a second on Boxing Day evening, which saw gales of up to 100mph.