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Energy suppliers 'must communicate better' with customers

The energy regulator Ofgem's report on the response of energy suppliers to storms last Christmas has criticised SSE and UK Power Networks.

The two companies were found to have been the slowest in responding to customers and in reconnecting their electricity supply.

Nearly one million people in southern England were cut off and 16,000 left without power for more than two days.

John Gill, who runs the Blue Anchor near Sevenoaks, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the pub lost power just before Christmas only to receive it back on Boxing Day.

He said it was difficult for his energy company to provide him with information about the situation and felt as if they were not adequately informed themselves.

Maxine Frerk, senior partner at Ofgem, told the programme there are lessons to be learnt for the future about getting people "reconnected faster".

She said companies need to start "communicating better" with customers by having enough staff in their call centres, keeping information updated on their website and using social media.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 24 July.

  • 24 Jul 2014