10 December 2022

Ofgem ‘extremely concerned’ over 190 vulnerable people have no gas in Sheffield

10 December 2022

Energy regulator Ofgem has said it is “extremely concerned” almost 200 vulnerable people in Sheffield have been left without gas amid the freezing cold temperatures.

People living in the Stannington area of the Yorkshire city have been without gas heating and cooking appliances after a water main burst last Friday sending hundreds of thousands of litres of water into the gas network.

Despite temperatures beginning to dip below zero, on Saturday morning 340 people had been without gas supply for a week, in what Ofgem called an “extremely difficult situation”.

The energy regulator said: “We are in constant and close contact with Cadent, Northern Powergrid and Yorkshire Water to ensure that all consumers’ needs are being met, particularly those who may be vulnerable.

“While we are grateful to engineers from Cadent and all of the other organisations who are working around the clock to restore supplies as soon as possible, we are extremely concerned that 194 consumers on the Priority Services Register remain off gas, along with hundreds of other homes.

“We have received assurances from Cadent that each of these customers is being cared for and made comfortable while they wait for their supply to be restored.

“While the vast majority of customers should be back on supply over the weekend, it is possible that there will continue to be smaller scale, shorter duration disruptions to supplies as Cadent engineers fully remove all of the water from the gas pipes.”

Those on the priority services register are vulnerable people who need extra support.

It comes as Cadent confirmed all homes that have been without gas will automatically get £130 compensation per day, while commercial properties will receive £210 per day.

Separately, Yorkshire Water confirmed it will handle compensation claims for water damage and additional costs incurred.

Since last weekend more than 200 engineers from distribution company Cadent had been working to restore gas to almost 2,000 homes which lost their supply.

On Thursday afternoon Yorkshire Water’s director of water, Neil Dewis, was confronted by an angry resident as he joined other agencies’ representatives for a press conference.

Lyndsey Hudson said she found her house flooding at the weekend after a main burst, forcing huge amounts of water into the gas network.

Mr Dewis said the main that burst, affecting the gas system, was an asbestos-cement main from 1970. He added that the firm has invested £15 million in Sheffield to reduce leaks.

He said the reason for the burst and how it came to affect the gas main is still under investigation.

Sheffield City Council chief executive Kate Josephs said the local authority had been working with Cadent to make sure vulnerable people had been provided with electric cookers, blankets and other essentials, including thermal socks.

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