‘Power blackout will leave us in the red’ fear businessesBy Jon Nurse
July 16, 2012
Enraged business owners have hit out at a power company’s plans to cut their electricity supply for a day without any compensation or support.
Staff at the Lands End pub and Lands End Equestrian Centre in Charvil are already flooded with problems after a wet summer and will now be counting the cost as another blow is due to hit the businesses.
Scottish and Southern Energy will cut power to both businesses from 9.30am to 3pm on Tuesday for essential maintenance work and have refused to offer compensation for loss of trade or provide a generator.
Steve Collier, landlord at The Lands End pub, wrote to MP Theresa May pleading for help, but fears there is no escaping a loss of several hundreds of pounds for the pub.
“In the past we have had quite a few electricity breakdowns in the area,” he said.
“They’ve supplied us with a generator two or three times before, but now they say it’s not cost effective.
“We are a business that is struggling – to be cut off for a morning is not cost effective for us.
“On a nice summer’s day we can be very busy.
“We stand to lose several hundred pounds if we go a morning without power.”
In March, a power surge after a cut fried the pub’s modem.
Mr Collier said: “There’s no way of claiming anything back from them.
“They are not even obliged to tell you before they cut your electricity off.
“An electrician estimated it could cost us up to £1,900 to install, run and remove a large generator as you can only have them for a week.”
Ian Lucken, owner of Lands End Equestrian Centre, said: “We have four businesses that rely on electricity.
“A power cut would leave us without water too because we rely on a borehole. We have to water the animals three times a day and that wouldn’t be possible.
“We have insulators and heat lamps with chicks under them and if the power is out for that amount of time they will die.”
Mr Lucken added: “We’ve been told they only supply a generator to a hundred homes or more so I would have to get one myself – well I can’t afford to pay for that.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
An SSE spokeswoman said: “Work will take place in Charvil that is essential for the security of supply so customers receive a reliable service.
“The majority of supplies will remain unaffected due to provision of a generator.
“Unfortunately two businesses and three domestic customers will be without power for five-and-a-half hours.
“Whenever possible we try to provide back up generation, but we are unable to provide a generator in this instance due to the location of the homes and businesses.
“We have been liaising closely with the customers affected and have tried to plan the power outage at a time that is most suitable for them.”
The pub received notice of the power cut in writing on Monday.
The spokeswoman said: “We are following Ofgem’s guidelines for planning power interruptions and have gone one step further by providing advanced notice in writing six days before rather than the required two.”