Northern Powergrid have confirmed they will cover costs of food and alternative accommodation for people who remain affected by power cuts caused by Storm Arwen.

Although the company has restored power to more than 95 per cent of homes affected, thousands of people across the North East remain without power six days after the high winds of the storm caused devastation across the region.

Northern Powergrid have now confirmed to Hexham MP Guy Opperman they will pay up to £15 per person per meal for those without power, as well as "reasonable costs" of alternative accommodation for customers.

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Northern Powergrid will also assist in booking the accommodation for vulnerable customers, and customers will also be eligible for further compensation depending on how long they have been without power.

A statement from Northern Powergrid regarding financial assistance said: "“Northern Powergrid is advising, in line with industry guaranteed standards, that once all storm-affected customers’ supplies are restored it will proactively contact them advising of their payment depending on the duration of their power cut.

"Northern Powergrid will provide financial assistance to any domestic customer who was still off supply on 29 November 2021 or later and who needs its help.

"This will include the reasonable costs of alternative accommodation and food (up to £15 per person per meal). It will also contribute to other reasonably incurred costs; for example where a customer arranges for their own back-up generator.

"Northern Powergrid will consider each customer’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis. All of its vulnerable customers will be eligible.

"Customers who require assistance should email [email protected] and Northern Powergrid will be in contact as quickly as it can to agree how it can help.”

Meanwhile Mr Opperman has urged the most vulnerable to contact his office if they are still without basic utilities such as water and power after the storm.

Guy Opperman

The MP said he has been coordinating with the Local Resilience Forums, Northumberland County Council, Northern Powergrid, Northumbrian Water and ministers in central government to ensure everyone is working together to ensure power is restored across Tynedale and Ponteland.

He said: "We are working flat out to try and help constituents get water and power. In particular, there are many still without power across Northumberland from Ponteland to Allendale and many places in between.

"I met with Northern Powergrid yesterday, and have made it clear that power must be restored to homes across Northumberland as soon as possible, particularly where people are vulnerable.

"I have also held extensive meetings with Northumberland County Council and the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, to ensure there is a multi-agency joined up approach to supporting local residents in need.

"We all accept that there is unprecedented storm damage, and that power reconnection requires specialist electrical engineers, but we need all the emergency services and the local authority as one in fixing these problems.

"My team and I are doing everything we can to assist, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you are a constituent."

Mr Opperman and his team have reportedly been contacted by hundreds of constituents now facing their seventh night without power.

Daily crisis meetings have been held between Northern Powergrid and the MP along with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, and Energy Minister Greg Hands.

Mr Hands has faced criticism for failing to visit the North East until five days after the storm.

Mr Opperman's team also said an agreement between Northern Powergrid and a Hexham supplier of generators to cover the costs of rental and installation to ensure the most vulnerable are supported until power is restored.

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