Domestic customers who suffered a lengthy interruption to the supply of gas to their homes will receive automatic compensation, Island Energy has confirmed – but commercial compensation will be considered "on a case-by-case basis".
The utility company’s CEO Jo Cox said details of an automatic compensation payout to domestic customers were set to be issued next week.
However, commercial customers will be treated differently, with compensation being offered as part of a "more in-depth process" which will allow Island Energy to review individual businesses accounts "on a case-by-case basis".
News regarding compensation came 12 days after the start of the outage on 7 October, when around 4,000 customers found themselves without gas.
The process of reconnection began towards the end of last week, and Island Energy said work was continuing to ensure remaining customers – a figure of 200-250 was its latest estimate on Wednesday – had their supply back.
Pictured: Jo Cox is CEO of Island Energy.
Mrs Cox said: "We are very sorry for the continuing disruption a small number of customers are facing, but can confirm that the majority of our customers are now fully restored.
"We are fully aware of the disruption of supply that all our customers have had to deal with over the last week or so and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused."
Regarding compensation, Mrs Cox added: "We will be getting communication out next week with details of our plans – exact amounts have yet to be calculated but when we have been able to confirm what we can do, the payment will most likely be automatically applied to customers’ accounts."
Customers have been asked not to call the customer services department, as compensation claims will not be processed through that channel.
Mrs Cox explained: "For commercial customers, there will be a different process due to the variety of businesses of all shapes and sizes that we supply – there will be a more in-depth process which business customers will have to go through in order for us to review their account on a case-by-case basis."
Last week, the owner of Entwistles' Fish and Chip Shop told Express that he was facing losses of £10,000 and would be fighting for compensation.
Jon de Gruchy said that the chippy's losses were the result of having to throw away almost £2,000 worth of fresh produce and missing out on around £8,000 in sales.
Pictured: Monika and Jon De Gruchy, the owners of Entwistles fish and chip shop.
Mr De Gruchy said: "I have a lot of friends with restaurants and everyone is in the same boat. We're all losing large amounts of money."
He added that some restaurants were facing having to cancel large party bookings which would see them lose almost £1,000 in sales.
"We're not happy," Mr De Gruchy added.
Matthew Jones, who runs The Moorings with his wife Iselin, also said last week that he was "definitely going to count up all our losses and costs and see if there’s compensation from Island Energy".
Pictured: The Moorings owner said that they lost 75% of bookings last Saturday.
"They have said they will communicate with customers as to what or if compensation will be provided. But it’s been so frustrating, not being able to run a business as you would wish to, everything had to be put on a backburner this week.
"It’s not just financial cost, it’s the time it’s taken all of us, we haven’t done anything other than figure out how to keep our business open and customers happy.
"Communication is absolutely key, and we feel they have not communicated it well from the outset."
In this week's States Assembly sitting, the Home Affairs Minister also criticised Island Energy's communication and said that "lessons need to be learned" from the gas outage.
Facing a series of questions from backbenchers in the States Assembly, the Deputy Helen Miles said it was her understanding that the gas provider had only email addresses for 40% of its customers, and mobile phone numbers for 20%.
She said: “Island Energy has been the first to admit that communication could have been better, and I share that view – lessons need to be learned.”
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