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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 10:55 GMT
Anger over storms payout
A woman walks her dog after the storms
Gales of up to 80mph ripped down trees and cables
A compensation package for householders left without electricity after last week's storms has been welcomed by the energy minister - and condemned by many customers.

Power company 24seven has said it will pay 100 to people in East Anglia who were cut off for five days - an offer likely to cost the firm about 2m.

Energy Minister Brian Wilson praised the company's "responsibility" and described the offer as "a welcome recognition that customers do have rights".

But local people reacted angrily to the news that the compensation will only be paid to about one in 15 of those affected by the power cuts.

An engineer carries out repairs
Some 20,000 homes were still cut off after five days
At the height of the storm on Sunday 27 October, 300,000 homes in East Anglia were without power.

The 100 payments will be made to customers who were still without power at 2200 GMT on Thursday 31 October - an estimated 20,000 homes.

John Potter of Great Ellingham told BBC Radio Norfolk: "How they can actually make a cut-off point at 10pm is an absolute disgrace.

"My personal view is that nobody blames them for the situation that prevailed.

"But from the point of view of dealing fairly with customers, it's grossly unfair that some people get compensation at 10pm and yet somebody a couple of hours beforehand doesn't get it."

Exceptional weather

However, managing director of 24seven Alan Carey said all applications would be considered.

"We have received several hundred letters already and we will look at each case on its merits.

"I do understand that other people will write to us."

Usually, 24seven offers 50 per day to anyone cut off, but abandoned that procedure because the weather had been exceptional.

The new package is far lower than that recommended by the power watchdog Energywatch, although power companies elsewhere have refused to offer any compensation.


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See also:

06 Nov 02 | England
01 Nov 02 | Business
01 Nov 02 | UK
31 Oct 02 | UK
31 Oct 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | Business
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