In these freezing temperatures we recognise this has been an extremely difficult situation for many households in Sheffield who have been without gas supply for a week.
Ofgem staff have visited affected areas in Sheffield to monitor the network response and speak to customers about their experience directly, and we continue to actively monitor the situation.
We are in constant and close contact with Cadent, Northern Powergrid, and Yorkshire Water to ensure that all customers’ needs are being met, particularly those who may be vulnerable.
We have sought and received assurances from Cadent that each of their customers is being cared for and made comfortable while they wait for their supply to be restored. Cadent have assured us that they will restore all supply today, and leave inaccessible properties safe.
It is likely that there will continue to be smaller scale, shorter duration disruptions to supplies for several more weeks as Cadent engineers fully remove all of the water from the gas pipes.
As part of its incident reporting requirements, we have now asked Cadent to undertake an incident review, reporting to us by end of January.
The scope of this review will include restoration of supplies and support for customers (especially vulnerable customers), cross agency coordination, communications (in particular with the community and customers), future protection of gas assets from similar events, and compensation payments. We will consider undertaking further reviews if necessary in due course.
Akshay Kaul, Ofgem’s Director of Infrastructure and Security and Supply, said:
“We are grateful to engineers from Cadent and all of the other organisations who have worked around the clock to restore supplies to the vast majority of customers. However, there are still a small number of households without an operational heating source, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely with Cadent until each of these cases is resolved.
“Ofgem’s top priority is to support and protect consumers in these difficult conditions. For this reason, we have been paying close attention to care provided for customers while they wait for their supply to be restored.
“We constantly look where improvements can be made in their interests. It is important that we now review and identify what lessons can be learned to improve the management of similar incidents in future, such as the identification of vulnerable customers through the Priority Services Register and ensuring effective coordination across agencies.”
Cadent has confirmed that all homes that have been without gas will receive compensation at £130 per day (double the statutory rate), and for seven days as a minimum. Commercial properties will receive £210 per day.
Compensation will be paid automatically and residents affected will not need to make a claim but will need to provide information to arrange payment as per the letters they have received.
We expect that compensation will be paid to affected customers promptly and will follow the process closely to ensure successful delivery.
Separately, Yorkshire Water has confirmed it will handle compensation claims for water damage and additional costs incurred. Affected consumers should fill out the form on Yorkshire Water’s website or for anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet, a dedicated phoneline is available on 01274 250555.
Affected consumers needing support can visit a customer centre located at The Lomas Hall, Church Street, Stannington, S6 6DB, call a support phone and information number on 0800 917 9598 or visit Cadent’s dedicated webpage.