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POWER CUT: EDF penalty decided by the end of the month
7:13pm Monday 23rd August 2010 in News
THE electricity company responsible for one of the biggest power cuts in recent years, has launched a new text messaging service for customers during a power failure.
EDF Energy was criticised by large numbers of people for the lack on information during the power cut in July last year which affected more than 94,000 people and lasted for up to four days.
Now the company has launched a free SMS messaging service which will provide up to 11 text messages on the progress being made during a power cut.
It will be available to any customer who calls to report a power failure and opts to provide their mobile number.
Meanwhile energy watchdog Ofgem says it hopes to publish its final decision on whether to impose a £2m penalty on EDF Energy for last year’s power cut, by the end of this month.
Ofgem announced its intention to punish the company in June and invited views from interested parties in a consultation which ended on July 7.
EDF claimed it was not to blame for the incident, which was caused when vandals or thieves got into its Darford Creek site and caused a major fire to four electricity cables being carried across the creek on a cable bridge.
An independent auditor who investigated the incident for Ofgem said the cable bridge was of strategic importance to EDF’s network and the company should have installed better security measures to protect it.
EDF had claimed it was not responsible because the power failure was caused by intruders, and declared it an “exceptional” incident , which absolved it from paying compensation to those affected.
There were 21 responses to the consultation, nine of them from other power suppliers.
Of those, only British Gas thought the punishment was fair.
The others were concerned about the cost to the industry of installing major security measures which could not guarantee success.
The remainder were from customers and from Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett who all supported the penalty.