People left without heating or electricity for days in the wake of Storm Arwen have spoken of their anguish and frustration with power companies.

Residents in Aberdeenshire have been waiting for a week to have power restored after the red alert gales blew in on Friday 26 November.

Around 10,500 people are still without power in some parts of north-east Scotland and the North of England, and the army has been drafted in to help. 

Bill Easton, who lives in Inchmarlo, Aberdeenshire, said he keeps getting updates which tell him power will return imminently, only for them to be wrong.

READ MORE: 15,000 homes remain without power in Scotland

He said: “The reality is it was pretty catastrophic what happened.

“It was cold. I kept getting deadlines that went on. I’d rather them tell the truth and say it was out of service rather than ‘coming on at 12’, then not coming on.”

He has a small camping stove he can use for cooking.

“It’s something you take for granted,” he said, adding it is “second nature” to flick a switch and expect the lights to turn on.


Many trees were brought down in the storm 

Helen Shand, also in Inchmarlo, was left without electricity for days before making the decision to go to her son’s house in a nearby village.

She said: “It was miserable. I have never been so cold in all my life, even the dog was cold.”

She said when she rang 105, the number to call when there is no power, it was “just a reassuring message saying they were doing as much as they could”.

Regulator Ofgem has launched an “urgent” review into the response of energy network companies to Storm Arwen which has left some people without power for a week.

A £700 cap on compensation has also been lifted, allowing those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they are left without power, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours.

The Army has been deployed to help residents in Scotland and England who have been off supply for a week since the storm on Friday November 26 caused “catastrophic damage” to the electricity network.

The regulator said its review will establish the facts about the response and if necessary it will pursue further enforcement action.

READ MORE: Aberdeenshire man who lost life during Storm Arwen named

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: “We understand this is a really worrying time for people who are without heat and power as the severity of Storm Arwen has hit homes and businesses in the North of England and Scotland. The effects of Storm Arwen are still being felt with 10,500 homes still without power.

“We accept the network companies have been working in challenging conditions, but until every home in Britain has power restored, that relentless effort must continue.

“We are launching a review into how the storm has been handled. We have strict rules on how network companies need to operate in these circumstances and we will take action if needed.”


Jessica Teasdale, from Stanley in County Durham, told the PA news agency: “People are frustrated and angry… everyone is getting ill.

“I saw my elderly neighbour yesterday, the poor man looked like he was going to cry. He’s a vulnerable person but no-one has checked on him and he lives alone.

“They keep changing the dates of when the power will be put on, but it’s giving people false hope… now they are saying Sunday, but how do they expect us to live like this until then?”

Her partner Christopher Bertram added: “I am sitting looking at Jessica now and she is a wreck. She hasn’t slept or washed properly for a week. She’s like a shell of a person. It is awful to watch.

“I’m using my dog as a hot water bottle.”