Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Power grid companies fined £1m for delays

Three power grid companies have been fined a combined £1m for failing to meet the three-month deadline for customer connections.

The energy watchdog, Ofcom, said yesterday that Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (Shepd), which is owned by Scottish & Southern Energy, and Eon's Central Networks would pay the largest of the three fines for taking too long to connect customers and for not having systems in place to monitor their services.

Shepd is being fined £500,000, while Central Networks will pay £400,000 and Electricity North West will pay £100,000 for its breach of the connection deadline.

The three connect a range of customers to the power grid, such as housing developers and wind farms. They hold a monopoly in their areas and customers are therefore reliant on them providing a good connection service, according to Ofgem. The watchdog said the fines had been reduced in recognition of co-operation by the companies.

The regulator set up compensation arrangements for late connections in October to improve customer service among power grid companies.

Customers can now claim back up to £200 per working day for connection delays.