The Secret Consumer Compensation Scheme
Guaranteed Service Standards are guaranteed compensation levels for where there is an issue with your energy or water company services
We could all be missing out on making a claim because we don’t know about it, and for simple issues, too!
There are two sets of service standards – one for the water industry and one for the energy industry. Sadly services such as mobiles and broadband are not covered by these standards, although these are now considered by most to be an essential service.
Outages due to severe weather
You can claim up to £200 if you are without electricity for more than 24 hours or 48 hours (depending on the severity of the weather).
The payment is based on an initial payment of £25 if you are without power for more than 24 or 48 hours and then £25 per 12 hours that you without power up to a maximum of £200.
However, if you live in the Highlands then it must be restored within 18 hours. If not, you are entitled to £50 compensation plus £25 for each further 12 hours.
The energy company does not have to pay this automatically and you will need to make a claim.
When can you claim energy compensation?
Under Section 39A of the Electricity Act, 1989 there are guaranteed standards that need to be met.Disruption of supply
- If a fuse in the electricity network fails, and if it’s not responded to within three hours during working hours (or four hours outside of working hours) you are entitled to £20.
- Where a supply is out for 18 hours, you can claim £50, plus an extra £25 per 12 hours.
- If you get four or more disruptions lasting for more than three hours in a single year, you can claim £50.
- If you are not given two days notice for planned interruption of service, you can claim £20
Severe weather disruption
They have 24 hours to restore power, or 48 hours depending on the severity of the weather. If power is not restored after that you can claim £25 and then £25 per 12 hours you are without power up to a maximum of £200.
If you are asking for a quote to be connected to the electricity network, you should receive one within five working days (or 15 working days if it is a complex issue). If you hear nothing, you can claim £40.
If you have voltage issues and you report it, the electricity company must visit within seven working days and provide you a report within five working days. If not you can claim £20.
If an energy company representative fails to keep a timed appointment, you can claim £20.
If payment of any of these are not forthcoming within 10 days of it being agreed, you can claim an additional £20.
When can you claim water compensation?
The Guaranteed Service Standard For Water was created in April 2008. You must be informed of your rights each year under the scheme and, if they fail to meet the set standards, you have the right to make a claim.
Some of the water companies actually offer schemes that exceed these requirements - so you may be pleasantly surprised if you make a claim and get more than you bargained for.
If you have an appointment booked, it must be for the morning or afternoon. If the company fails to turn up or the appointment does not give a two-hour slot then you can claim £20.
Low water pressure
If you get low water pressure on more than two occasions lasting more than an hour over the space of a month, you can make a claim of £25.
Interruption of supply
If your supply is cut off for more than four hours, you must be given written notice of at least 48 hours. Otherwise you can claim £20.
If then your supply is not restored after either 12 hours or 48 hours (depending on the severity of the event), you can also claim £20 plus then £10 per additional day.
If the firm does not respond to you within 10 working days of a submission then you are entitled to claim £20.
If your home is flooded from the sewers then the water/sewerage company must pay between £150 and £1,000. The amount will be equal to your annual sewerage bill. If the sewer flooding is outside the home then you are entitled to 50% of your annual sewerage bill.
If your property is cut off from water because of a drought order then you are entitled to £10.
Not paid in time
If you are not paid in time then potentially you are also entitled to an additional £20 compensation.