Thousands of people are still without power eight days after Storm Arwen caused major damage to parts of the UK network.
The latest figures from the Energy Networks Association (ENA), the national industry body, show about 9,200 homes were without power on Friday evening.
Those affected are bracing for almost freezing temperatures over the next 24 horas, when parts of northern England and Escocia expecting rain, sleet and lows of 1C (34F). The daytime temperature is unlikely to rise above 7C (45F).
The long delays have prompted the energy regulator, Ofgem, to say it will take enforcement action against companies that have failed to restore power to customers quickly enough after the storm. It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on potential compensation.
The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for their first 48 hours without power and a further £70 for each subsequent 12-hour period.
Ofgem’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are deeply concerned about customers who for over a week have been without power.
“We want to establish the facts and make sure we understand what has happened, whether the network companies have met their obligations. If they haven’t, we will take enforcement action.
“We have clear expectations of how fast they should get people back on the system.
“We do recognise the challenging circumstances those companies are in, but what we expect from the network companies is to be relentless in connecting people, but also to be putting support in place.”
He later told BBC Breakfast: “One thing we’ve done already is we’ve said to network companies, and they’ve agreed, they’ve lifted the cap on the compensation they will give customers and they’ll make sure that those customers do get some compensation for everything they’ve been through.”
The Ministry of Defence said 297 soldiers were supporting civil authorities in conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people and providing reassurance to local communities.
Eighty soldiers from 4 Royal Artillery based at Alanbrooke barracks in Topcliffe were deployed to Northumberland on Saturday to identify where additional supportwas required, a statement said.
The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, dicho: “Our dedicated armed forces personnel are working side by side with civil authorities to provide essential support to communities impacted by Storm Arwen.
“The ability to deploy quickly to wherever in the UK assistance is requested makes us all safer and ensures we are able to look protect the most vulnerable in our society.”
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) dicho 950 properties were without power as of 10pm on Friday.
Northern Powergrid said 5,100 de 240,000 customers who had lost power were still to be reconnected.
Western Power Distribution still had 254 customers without power, and Electricity North West, which provides energy for an area between the Scottish border and Stockport, dicho 700 properties were still without power as of 8pm on Friday night.
SP Energy Networks said it had reconnected all 200,000 customers who had lost power.