Power to the people!

March 15, 2010 4:40 PM

Local MP Tom Brake has criticised energy suppliers EDF Energy for a series of power cuts which have affected Sutton residents since December last year.

Local residents and businesses, along with the MP's constituency office at Nightingale Road, were plunged into darkness twice last week, during brownouts thought to have affected up to 20,000 people.

Since December there have been numerous power cuts in the borough of Sutton, particularly around Wrythe Lane and Rose Hill, Carshalton.

"The number of power cuts have increased and we haven't been told if we can expect more of the same," said local MP Tom Brake.

"I have spoken with EDF who assure me that the power cuts are unrelated, but the cause appears to be the same in each case. They must also clarify whether or not we can expect more of these power cuts in the future."

Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow attacked EDF's lack of clarity on causes of the Sutton power cuts, saying that "brownouts must not become a regular feature of daily life in Sutton."

The problems with Sutton's power supply are attributed to faults on the underground cable network.

Last Tuesday, engineers working at a substation in the borough were concerned to see smoke billowing from cables.

Heat generated by damaged cables can actually have the effect of resealing the cable, disguising the fault and making it more difficult to pinpoint.

"If you have been without power for 18 hours or more, do get in touch with myself at 0202558155 or with EDF direct at 0800 0284587 to see if you can be compensated," said Tom Brake.

After an18 hour power cut, EDF are obliged to pay £50 to a domestic customer and £100 to a business customer. They will pay another £25 for each additional 12 hours supplies are affected. Claims must be made within three months.

In a statement last Thursday, EDF Senior Public Affairs Manager, Sean Parsons said that EDF "appreciate[d] how difficult it can be to lose power, especially during cold weather and in a business area, and would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by these incidents."

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