Bungling electric company sends £2trillion cheque to man for storm damage

13 February 2022, 16:35 | Updated: 13 February 2022, 22:50

Northern Powergrid accidentally wrote a cheque for £2,324,252,080,110
Northern Powergrid accidentally wrote a cheque for £2,324,252,080,110. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A UK energy supplier has apologised to 74 customers who faced power outages during Storm Arwen, after they mistakenly issued compensation cheques of more than £2.3 trillion.

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Tens of thousands of customers are awaiting compensation after being without power when severe "once in a generation" winds swept across the UK in November last year.

But customers were left surprised after opening cheques from Northern Powergrid when they were offered huge amounts of a money in compensation.

One Twitter user took to the platform to share a photo of the eye-watering number he received in the post.

He wrote: "Thank you for our compensation payment, Northern Powergrid, for the several days we were without power following Storm Arwen.

"Before I bank the cheque, however, are you 100% certain you can afford this? #trillionpounds."

The picture shows the customer had been written a cheque for £2,324,252,080,110.

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The tweet has accrued over 24,000 likes in just three hours, as others joined in to poke fun at the error.

"Bank it! Then share it equally between us all," one Twitter user wrote.

"I think you own Northern Powergrid now," another joked, whilst Specsavers wrote: "Hang on a minute..."

The supplier confirmed 74 of their customers had been given compensation cheques with an incorrect payment amount and thanked those who were "honest" about the error.

They added the 74 customers relate to properties with Halifax and Newcastle post codes, reassuring them that a correct payment will be on its way soon.

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A spokeswoman for Northern Powergrid said: "As soon as we identified the clerical error, which was caused by the electricity meter reference number being incorrectly quoted as the payment sum, we ensured all 74 customers' cheques were stopped so they could not be cashed.

"We have been investigating how this error happened and carrying out checks of previous payments.

"All indications are that this was an isolated incident.

"We thank those customers who were honest and contacted us and we have been making contact directly over the weekend with all 74 customers affected to make them aware, apologise for the error and reassure them that a correct payment will be issued to them on Monday."