Traders hit by power failure

BUSINESSES have lost thousands of pounds after they were left without electricity for two days. Owners of shops at The Oval in Stevenage were without power from Monday morning until Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday supermarket Somerfield s was forced to thro

BUSINESSES have lost thousands of pounds after they were left without electricity for two days.

Owners of shops at The Oval in Stevenage were without power from Monday morning until Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday supermarket Somerfield's was forced to throw food away after its freezers were affected, a florist was forced to work by candlelight to complete important orders and a butcher had to work in the dark.

This is not the first time their businesses have been left without electricity. Wayne Johnson, from The Oval Dry Cleaners, who lost income in the two days the electricity was off, said: "I have been here five years and this happens regularly."

Lyakat Jaffer of The Oval Pharmacy said: "Two days without power meant I couldn't take orders and I couldn't sell medication. Nobody at EDF Energy could tell us what was going on. This is the third time this has happened and we are losing what little business we have."

Butcher Keith Jones from KJ and Sons said he had to work in the dark on Monday. He said: "I have lost a day and half of trade."

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He said EDF Energy has only offered him £50 compensation.

Florist Rose Rochester, of Butterfly Bloom, said: "The tills weren't working and we had to work by candlelight to complete orders we had for funerals. We had deadlines which we had to keep."

Lynn Ward, who has a hair and beauty business in the area, said she lost a substantial amount through not being able to trade for two days.

An EDF Energy spokesman said power was interrupted to 25 customers due to a fault at a local substation.

Engineers worked to restore power but had to isolate supplies to a further 90 customers to enable them to work safely.

She said: "We sincerely apologise to customers in the Oval area of Stevenage for the recent interruptions to their power supplies.

"We do recognise the inconvenience that a lengthy power cut of this nature can cause and our customer relations team will be contacting the worst affected customers to apologise personally."

She said when customers are without power for more than 18 hours they are entitled to claim payments of £100 for business customers and £50 for domestic customers.