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Power cut compensation to rise to £2,000 – here are your rights if your electricity supply is cut off

The maximum amount of compensation given to households and businesses that lose electricity power as a result of severe weather has increased from £700 to £2,000, as part of a raft of new measures announced by energy regulator Ofgem. 

From 1 September, all six of Britain's so-called 'network operators' – Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Scottish Power Energy Network, UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution – must adhere to Ofgem's new rules or face multi-million pound fines. 

The new rules follow Ofgem's review into the response by distribution network operators – the companies responsible for linking homes and businesses to the electricity network – to Storm Arwen in 2021. This saw 40,000 people cut off for three days and 4,000 people without power for over a week in parts of northern England and Scotland.

Below we've got all the need to know about the new rules. If you've been hit by severe weather and need to claim on your insurance, you can see our Storm and flood damage guide for more info. 

Without power? You'll now get an £80 payment, followed by £40 every six hours

Here's how the rules have changed:

  • You'll now get an £80 initial payment after either 24 or 48 hours without power, depending on the severity of the storm, followed by £40 every six hours after. This has changed from an initial payment of £70 after the first 48 hours, followed by £70 for every 12 hours without power. 

    Under the new rules, so-called 'category three' storms have also been removed, meaning you'll now be compensated if you've been without power for 24 hours for a 'category one' storm or for at least 48 hours in a 'category two' storm. 

    Previously, Ofgem categorised the severity of storms from one to three, with one being the least severe and three being the most. To be eligible for compensation during a 'category three' storm, you needed to be without power for a period of at least 48 hours, plus it also depended on the number of people impacted.

  • The maximum amount you can claim has increased to £2,000. This is up from £700. 
  • Payments can now be made by bank transfer if you'd prefer it. Ofgem says this is to simplify and speed up the process. Previously, payments were only made by cheque. 

You should be automatically offered compensation by your network operator

If you're due compensation, your network operator should proactively get in touch to ask if you'd like to have your compensation paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will ask you to provide your bank details if you choose a bank transfer. We're checking with Ofgem exactly how network operators will contact you and we will update this story when we know more. 

Your electricity network operator should pay you this compensation within a "reasonable time" of the power being restored. If it hasn't paid you within a month, you should contact it directly to make a claim.

If your network operator isn't playing ball, you can complain to Ofgem

If for any reason your network operator refuses to provide you with compensation and you believe it's owed, you should first complain directly to it. Use its complaints procedure, which will be on its website. You can also get help making your complaint from Citizens Advice via its customer helpline

If you're unhappy with your network operator's response, or if the problem is unresolved after eight weeks, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman via its online form or by calling 0330 440 1624.

If you're still not happy, you can take your complaint to Ofgem by either emailing it at or by calling 020 7901 7295.

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