Independent regulator should decide compensation
Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said that the decision to deny compensation to customers of utility companies cannot remain with the suppliers.
Mr. McMullan said,
“Since NI Electricity stated that it was not paying compensation to customers cut off for over 24 hours due to adverse weather conditions I have been in contact with the Energy regulator.
“Although it clearly states in the NI Electricity charter to customers that they would pay compensation to customers who experience a loss of supply they have decided that they will not do so in this case.
“This ability to exempt itself from its own standard of compensation allows suppliers to renege on any promises and make them worthless. At present the Energy Regulator has no power to ensure that people affected by the power cut get proper compensation.
“I spoke to the Regulator and have called for more power to ensure energy suppliers meet their compensation guidelines and that the power of self exemption is removed. I am calling for an independent assessor to be established who would make a binding decision in these cases.
“Of the 300 people who claimed compensation all have been refused many of them rural dwellers and farmers who have already experienced financial hardship during the long winter and I am calling on NI Electricity to review their decision.”