An emergency helpline for customers to call in a blackout has been delayed, according to Ed Davey
He told the Energy and Climate Change select Committee (ECCC) that there are some issues causing delays such as a mandatory Ofcom consultation period and procurement processes.
Davey said he wants it to reach completion as soon as possible, although the consultation period is expected to extend the timetable by at least 6 months.
He also said the 111 number took five years to set up, but stated this “is not acceptable” for the energy industry and he wanted the power cut helpline to be set up “in less than half that time”. He added that
the first of three phases moving towards this number “is happening now” which is getting distribution network operators (DNOs), where they have more than one distribution area, to have a single contact number.
The second phase will be a 0800 number for consumers to call “which may be available by the middle of next year.”
The committee costs would ultimately come back to the consumer but with the potential energy savings made by the DNO’s that “maybe the efficiencies of the new system will end up paying for it” and customer bills “won’t be affected”.