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Power cut consequential loss & damage claim


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We had a power cut here this morning; once power was restored we found terminal damage to some IT equipment. We intend to claim redress from the network distro company (Central Networks).

 

I'm looking for confirmation that:

 

a) It is the distribution company that we claim from?

 

b) The procedure is standard, i.e. polite letter followed by LBA followed if necessary by N1 court claim?

 

c) That we can claim for the cost of replacing the damaged equipment plus any additional costs, for example my time taken up in putting everything right again?

 

Does anyone have an address to send my claim to Central Networks to?

 

Any comments thoughts appreciated.

 

Pete

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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Hiya Pete,

 

The standard relply you will get will be along the lines of "Contact your insurance company for damage etc" However they caused the damage so should with the right persuation pay out so yes your process is correct.

I know they pay out a lot in the similar circumstance to TV freeview and satelite systems as power surges after a powercut really messes with them, even if an engineer changes the meter and they do not turn appliance off first it can cause damage, things like comps and TV eqiipt need to be turned off in the proper process and they are aware of this. As your unique referance include your MPAN number on the letters. If your not sure of this then you can PM me or look on your meter or ask your supplier.

Central Networks,

Pegasus Business Park,

Herald Way,

Near East Midlands Airport

Castle Donnington,

Derbyshire,

DE74 2TU

I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.

1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.

2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

 

Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.

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Many thanks ozzywizzard

 

Pete

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like a bit more advice if anyone has any to offer please.

 

I wrote to Central Networks with a holding letter, basically informing them that I will be making a claim in due course. I haven't yet got around to getting quotes for replacement kit.

 

Anyway, I had a letter from Central Networks asking me to call someone in their customer liaison dept.

 

I rang today and the gist of the conversation was that the fault was due to a third party company damaging a high voltage cable. CN are trying to get the details of this third party and they tell me that I will have to claim from the third party, not CN.

 

I replied that I will be claiming from CN, not any third party, nor will I claim from my insurance company. The spekesperson said that they will not entertain any claim.

 

Question is - do I persevere with my claim against Central Networks? What arguments or points of law do I present to them to show that they are liable? It's not a small claim, it will be for something like a grand once I've totted everything up.

 

Many thanks.

 

Pete

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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This is what I just received via email following my telephone conversation today:

 

 

14 February 2007

 

Interruption to Electricity Supplies – 05 February 2007

 

Dear Number 6

 

Further to your letter received here 08 February 2007 and our subsequent telephone conversation of today referring to the above. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused as a result.

 

The interruption on 05 February were caused as a result of a high voltage cable fault ~ further investigations into the cause found that third party contractors had damaged our underground cables. Potentially three thousand eight hundred and seventy customers were affected by this interruption.

 

Whilst I appreciate the inconvenience caused by any supply loss, I regret that Central Networks cannot guarantee a continuous supply of electricity as there will always be circumstances, beyond our direct control which can affect the network. In these circumstances we always restore supplies within the shortest possible time.

 

In respect of any claim for any loss or damage, the disruption caused by any supply interruption is clearly regrettable. Where an incident results from circumstances beyond our direct control and which could not have been reasonably foreseen, we are unable to accept liability.

 

Central Networks do endeavour to provide a continuous supply of electricity but as circumstances can occur which are beyond our control, we are unable to guarantee an interruption free supply, as stipulated in your supply connection agreement. We therefore advise our customers to insure against any losses, which may occur as a result, as consequential and economic losses are not recoverable under current law (The Electricity Supply Act 1989 & Associated Regulations. We can only suggest that you claim via your own insurers.

 

However as this incident was the result of third party damages we shall be seeking to recover our costs from those responsible. Although we are not aware of their policy with regard to compensation should you wish, you too may address a claim to them for consideration.

 

The address you can contact them is as follows:-

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxx

Leominster

Herefordshire

HR6 0QF

 

Tel; xxxxxx

 

 

Once again, I apologise again for any inconvenience caused.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sharon Pritchard (Mrs)

Customer Liaison

 

 

Any comments before I go in with guns blazing?

 

The faults were definitely caused as a direct result of (or exactly coincidental with) the power cut / restoration of power.

 

Pete

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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TBH Pete I think you will not get anywhere with this as having worked in the energy supply industry know that any damage caused must be claimed under your insurance.

 

Also IT equipment should always be either surged protected or if servers etc on UPS.

 

Sorry

 

Dan

20/06/06 - Prelim sent for £4041

22/06/06 - Standard Letter received from Halifax

25/06/06 - Call with offer of £465 - £1465 - declined

27/06/06 - LBA Sent for £4041

07/07/06 - MoneyClaim filed online

11/07/06 - Acknowledged / Intend to Defend

31/07/06 - Yippee.....I WON - SETTLED IN FULL

01/08/06 - Second Part of Claim Filed £4397

04/08/06 - Acknowledged by Halifax

09/08/06 - SETTLED IN FULL

10/07/06 - Egg Request for Statements

16/07/06 - Received past 6 Years Statements

16/07/06 - Total Charges - £960

19/07/06 - Prelim Letter Sent

10/07/06 - AA Visa Request for Statements

16/07/06 - Received past 6 Years Statements

16/07/06 - Total Charges - £280

19/07/06 - Prelim Letter Sent

27/07/06 - Offer of Goodwill £140, offer refused by phone

28/07/06 - LBA Sent

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There was no negligence on CNs part - so I think any action against them would fail, especially as all they do is refer to their considitions of service that give them (quite a wide) latitude from being held wholly responsible. Just as people in Norfolk didn't get new telephone answering machines when a lightning strike took out their phone line. BT then fitted lightning arrestors.

 

It could be argued that the consumer also has a duty of care, and although all my power cables are u/g and I live in an urban area, my power supply varies (by voltage) from 228 to 255, and have many surges a week - all of which is recorded and trapped by my own equipment. Having seen how variable my supplies are, I have all important kit protected.

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  • 1 year later...

I have had a similar problem in that my supply was interrupted and we suffered a loss of earnings. The outage was due to contractors cutting through the supply cable. I realise that I am going to get nowhere with the supply company, Powergen, or CN as the fault lies with the contractors.

 

Question is should I pursue with a claim for consequential loss against the people who caused the damage, or should I give up. I would be interested to hear if anyone has been succesful to this regard.

 

Thanks

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The problem is really where the blame truly lies, the supply company's never provide a full 100% uptime guarantee, so pursuing some sod who sliced through a cable though malice or ignorance might fly, but since the primary supplier is exempt from action for 'faults', there is an argument you should claim on your 'business recovery' insurance, or at the very least have your own UPS to keep vital services going.

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  • 3 years later...
This is what I just received via email following my telephone conversation today:

 

 

 

Any comments before I go in with guns blazing?

 

The faults were definitely caused as a direct result of (or exactly coincidental with) the power cut / restoration of power.

 

Pete

 

Hi Pete,

 

Really sorry that your equipment was damaged by a power cut, however, Central Networks cannot guarantee 24/7 power and also cannot take responsibly for electronics damaged by fault current. Due to an ageing electricity network, extreme weather conditions and an increase in third party damages, power cuts will become more frequent.

 

I realise that the damage to your equipment is inconvenient and costly, but if Central Networks paid every customer for every damage caused by a fault, there would not be enough money to run the electrical network; how would they afford to keep the lights on? Central Networks are not a high profit making corporation, less than 40 pounds of your annual energy bill goes to fund the distribution system; the regulator, OffGem, decides how much profit is taken out of the company and how much is invested back into the distribution network (this information is all available on the OffGem website).

 

My advice to you is to invest in surge protection within your household; RCD's are very effective and at a reasonable cost.

 

Wembot

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  • 3 years later...

I'm new to the CAG it's taken me a few days to discover it as a result of me experiencing a problem with multiple impacts both financially to me and likely to be threatening my health.

 

Due to the age of the thread it is highly likely that there will have been some more consumer friendly changes /improvements to things.

 

I'm hoping to get the specification for power supply to my premises from the generating and / or cable carrier companies as well as the reseller company .

 

I think I'm correct that as I purchase my elecricity from EON or similar that the contract of supply of a merchantable product or service sits fairly & squarely with them and as far as I'm involved does not concern who or where they get the electricity that they sell to me so long as what I purchase is within the set parameters set down for a domestic supply.

 

I'm a City & Guilds qualified industrial test and service electronic engineer by trade so have some sound knowledge of what happens electrically .

 

Here goes.....

Recently over several days we have been experiencing many dramatic fluctuations in the supply to our home as evidenced by incandescent 12 volt lamps dropping to a barely red output the immediately to so bright that they were close to blowing , in fact several did blow & I replaced them. I would normall only expect to replace one of these bulbs every three to four months not a fist full in a matter of hours.

 

The story unfolds further along the lines of most of the electronic equipment in our home is less than five years old , so I strongly suspect it has some sort of inbuilt surge/spike protection.

All computers & printers are protected by an extra Belkin type protector and or a battery backed UPS .

I've ended up with numerous electronic equipments being burnt out due to the series of massive induced spikes over several days on faulty an underground cable some 400 mtrs away from me ( I'm almost right on the end of the branch from the local transformer.It ended up with the underground cable finally arcing out and blowing the boards trips some where in their distribution system . A large standby genny big enough to support some 90 homes was brought in by the carrier company whilst the fault was located and a 30 mtr. long trench excavated to effect a repair to eh blown underground cable.

Since the repair was effected by the carrier company we have not had the slightest flicker on the mains that Iknow of.

 

The spikes have been of such a magnitude & duration that they have passed through the digital supply meter , through the equipments and caused electrical burn outs as well as electrical derangement. Now I know how the electrical supply comanies work and it's difficult if not nigh impossible to get a remedy easily from them.

 

 

At present I'm collecting information & ideas of how to progress before I go to the citizens advice folk to lay our my case.

 

Things are further complicated in that I suffer life threatening health problems . A nasty consequence of the spikes & the massive last mega spike which occurred when the underground cable finally blew out is that the the underfloor heating that dries out my wet room it totally burnt out as it was on at the time that's both the control unit and the trace heat cabling set under the slip resist tiles on the floor . ( The shower and toilet facility are used daily by me as I'm incontinent in bowel & bladder )

 

This electrical burn out has led to mould quickly forming as we cannot get the room fully dry enough even with the central heating on , both windows open & double extractor fan on all day, plus when closed at night the windows are being set to trickle vent setting.

 

The mould spores are starting to affect my already compromised breathing situation. I'd like to obtain details of a nominated higher level responsible manager within the resellers company , so my wife can give details to the family solicitors to persue a case of corporate manslaughter should I become ill and died due to stress or excessive mould spores caused by us not being able to dry out our home.

The fact that the cable was not damaged by third parties nor to the best of my knowledge lightening or as some fools put it, " an act of god " is something that I have looked at , I can only conclude that the sensing & monitoring devices that the electricity companies have to provide information / log events and problems for planned repairs was not acted upon soon enough or correctly place or not sufficiently sensitive to detect the " leakance " problem in the first place.

 

We have laid out just over £500 already for a new oven as there are no spares available to replace the control panel that burnt out on it . The £500 incldes a new thermostatic time control unit for the wet room floor but not the under floor cable. I strongly suspect that the end cost of sorting out this spike induced damage will be close £5,000 or even more for I / we may have to move out for a couple of weeks or so out whilst the wet room & toilet facility is out of commission.

 

 

I've read several of the site subjects related to this sort of problem , do any of you know if the scope of the consumers supply of goods service act applies in this case ?

 

My insurers said as it is not accidental damage they will not entertain any claim , the generating company said as it is not negligence on the part of their employees they won't entertain a claim , the reseller said it is not their problem either.

 

I understand that the Unfair Terms in Customer Contract Regulations my also negate such denials by the seller, carrier or electricity generator . Does anyone know if there is a superseded reference to these regulations or if similar overarching new regulations are in place ?

 

Does anyone know if the County Court adjudication system still runs in England and Wales ?

 

Am I likely to make any head way with the problem if I go the county court route for uninsured losses occasioned because of non compliant electrical specification supplies that caused the damage ?

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  • 1 month later...

A quick up date,

My home was fully rewired with a new consumer unit & all wiring it was commissioned on 29 March 2009 .

 

Eon sent me an email saying they had closed my complaint and I would get a complaint form with in 10 day .. no such beast arrived ( if sent at all ) So I use a different route of attack and went into their moving supply arena and put a pasted word document in the details box as trying to type for more than a few seconds kept seeing the link drop out .

Surprise surprise I get their complainers folk on saying that they have reopened the original contact file and they offerme a telephone number so that I may contact the distribution network organisation ( DNO ) ,. Eon don't want to try help past this , so it they say they will send a written letter within 10 days showing how they have resolved the matter . ( Magic roundabout again ?)

 

I now eagerly await their letter & should have it by 11 Dec 2014 , it should also contain information about escalating things to an independent organisation.

I have also collated the same sort of new info( mainly shown below ) & sent it via email ( you need that email paper trail ) & sent it to the DNO as well .... I'm still waiting to see if the antsnest has been disturbed on this one but i will be bitching big time if they don't come back to me by 11 Dec 2014 .

 

It seems that the fault after looking at it forensically with several high grade electrical engineers & electricians etc was caused due to an over voltage across two phases when the underground cable failed and the neutral was " lost ".

It is a common thing apparently and can affect just one person depending where the nearest neutral for the three phases is located .

I have tried to pursue this event as, " The electricity that was supplied by EON , purchased by me was not of merchantable quality and that it has caused damage in my home .

Note I'm not saying that some one is at fault I'm seeking redress under the supply of goods & services .

 

My home had two 1KW resistive& one transformer ( the UPS ) loads running at the time and the 480 volts +- 8% burnt out my equipment.

Interestingly or not the insurers said as it was not storm or tempest nor accidental damage or loss of good I have no claim prospects on the domestic policy .

 

I wonder can this form of damage ever be insured for by a private househi=older and actially be claimed for at the end of the day ?

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