Householders will have to wait another 16 months for an emergency power cuts helpline promised almost a year ago, Labour revealed on Saturday.I think someone needs to explain the definition of 'emergency'...
Thousands of people faced power cuts last winter as a result of severe storms and flooding that affected large parts of the UK in December and January.
One problem the crisis highlighted was the absence of a single emergency number for customers to use if they want to find out how long power cuts will last, regardless of where they live or which energy company is involved.
Following a meeting with power companies in January, Ed Davey, the energy secretary, announced the government would look into setting up such a helpline.It seems like a relatively simple thing to do, doesn't it?
“It is totally unacceptable that a year after they promised to set up a 999-style blackout hotline there is still no number for households to call – and at the current rate there won’t be one next winter either,”
Flint said. “It only takes three years to build a power station, so there’s no reason why it should take so long to get a helpline up and running.”Well, quite. So why the hold up?
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the ENA was in the lead on this issue and that setting up a three-digit helpline took time because it involved negotiating with the EU.What..?! Why? I mean, for the love of God, what business is it of the EU? Must they have a finger in every pie?
An ENA spokesman said it had always intended an April 2016 launch and this two-year process compared favourably with the nine years it took to set up non-emergency numbers for the police and NHS.*speechless*