Energy regulator Ofgem "extremely concerned" as almost 200 people left without gas for a week

10 December 2022, 17:36 | Updated: 10 December 2022, 17:41

Ofgem said it is "extremely concerned" about the incident
Ofgem said it is "extremely concerned" about the incident. Picture: Getty

By Adam Solomons

Energy watchdog Ofgem has said it is "extremely concerned" as 340 people were without gas for well over a week.

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As temperatures dropped below zero in Sheffield this weekend, 194 vulnerable people on the Priority Services Register had been without gas for days on end.

The Yorkshire city's council declared a major incident on Thursday after more than 400,000 litres of water from a burst pipe leaked into the gas main.

Around 2,000 homes are thought to have been affected, local supplier Cadent Gas said.

Ofgem wrote this afternoon: “We are in constant and close contact with Cadent, Northern Powergrid and Yorkshire Water to ensure that all consumers’ needs are being met, particularly those who may be vulnerable.

The incident affected hundreds of homes in Stannington, Sheffield
The incident affected hundreds of homes in Stannington, Sheffield. Picture: Alamy

READ MORE: Major incident declared as UK temperatures drop to -10C and Brits told 'eat hot food' and wear layers to keep warm

“While we are grateful to engineers from Cadent and all of the other organisations who are working around the clock to restore supplies as soon as possible, we are extremely concerned that 194 consumers on the Priority Services Register remain off gas, along with hundreds of other homes.

“We have received assurances from Cadent that each of these customers is being cared for and made comfortable while they wait for their supply to be restored.

“While the vast majority of customers should be back on supply over the weekend, it is possible that there will continue to be smaller scale, shorter duration disruptions to supplies as Cadent engineers fully remove all of the water from the gas pipes.”

For those who are struggling with the cost of living crisis, people are being advised to heat living rooms during the day, and bedrooms before going to sleep to cut heating bills.

Ofgem's Westminster HQ
Ofgem's Westminster HQ. Picture: Alamy

The UKHSA's guidance also tells people to eat hot food to keep warm.

It adds: "Wearing several layers of thinner clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer. Having plenty of hot food and drinks is also effective for keeping warm."

Sheffield City Council chief executive Kate Josephs said community buildings, including a pub, were available for those struggling to keep warm.

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