Update on the Shetland electricity supply incident

Press release

Publication date

Industry sector

  • Supply and Retail Market
  • Distribution Network

We are pleased that, as of 4pm on 18 December 2022, the loss of power supply to several areas of Shetland has been rectified. Power has now been restored to the 5,289 customers affected by the incident, which has been ongoing since the afternoon of 12 December 2022.

SSEN Distribution (SSEN) will remain in Shetland to continue to make permanent repairs to bring the network to full operation and address any residual faults if these occur, which may require temporary planned disconnections for short periods. 

Ofgem staff have visited affected Shetland to monitor the situation. We are grateful to SSEN and other agencies for their hard work in protecting vulnerable customers through the incident, and restoring power to homes as quickly as possible in very difficult weather conditions.

As part of our reporting requirements, Ofgem have now asked SSEN to undertake an incident review, reporting to us by end of January.

The scope of this review will include planning and preparedness (including weather monitoring), restoration of supplies and support for customers (especially vulnerable customers), cross agency coordination, communications (in particular with the community and customers), options to mitigate the impact of similar weather events in future, and compensation payments.

Akshay Kaul, Ofgem’s Director of Infrastructure and Security and Supply, said:

“In this very cold weather, we recognise that the last week has been extremely difficult for many households in Shetland. We are grateful to SSEN for their quick response, and in particular for their efforts to support customers, especially vulnerable customers, while their power was being restored.

“As part of our routine procedures, we have asked SSEN to conduct a review of the incident to identify what lessons can be learned to improve the management of similar incidents in future.”

SSEN has confirmed that they will pay customer affected by the outage the statutory compensation of £70 for the initial 48 hours, and then £140 per day thereafter. SSEN has confirmed that these payments will be paid automatically, so customers affected will not need to make a claim.

In addition to statutory requirements, SSEN is providing reimbursement of reasonable costs for meals (up to £30 per day) and alternative accommodation for extended outages. Eligibility criteria and details of how to claim this reimbursement are available on the SSEN website.

We expect that compensation will be paid to affected customers promptly. We will continue to monitor this process, alongside the ongoing residual repairs to the network, to ensure their successful delivery.