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Power cuts felt across Barnet but supplier UK Power Networks set to invest
Power cuts are causing frustration and inconvenience to homes and businesses across Barnet after a series of regular short outs in recent weeks.
Homes in and around Briarfield Avenue in Finchley Central have suffered at least six since January 1, while areas of Hendon and High Barnet have also been affected.
Last night (Tuesday), more than 2,800 homes lost power in North West London, while last week, a small explosion occurred at a substation in Hendon following an early morning power surge.
UK Power Networks, responsible for delivering the electricity, has offered good will payments to unhappy customers and says it is investing money in the network.
But the irritation remains for thousands of families across Barnet.
Ilana Jackman-Overlander, of Briarfield Avenue, says her family home has lost power ten times over the past three years and on six occasions since the start of the year.
The 35-year-old mother of two young children said: “It is very frustrating. We know where our torches and candles are now and we’re very glad we have gas cookers.
“The worst occasion was when it set off the house alarm. My husband was up a ladder for 45 minutes and it was going off like crazy while our little one was sleeping.
“The fact it has happened so many times suggests they haven’t put their best minds on it.”
Neighbours banded together to complain to the power supplier, which last week agreed to pay out £50 per household for the inconvenience caused.
Power supplies in Hendon have also been regularly affected since the new year, with homes, and businesses in Church Road, as well as Hendon School, complaining of outages.
Mother-of-three Tamara Jacobson, of Johns Avenue, says she and her neighbours have had enough of recent problems with the supply.
The 34-year-old said: “It seems to be whole area faults. It is infuriating, especially in this weather with no heating or hot water.
“They do their best and send engineers out but it does make you wonder why it is going on.”
UK Power Networks was unable to confirm how many power cuts had occurred across the borough since the new year but said shortages in different areas were unrelated.
A spokesman said the company had improved the reliability of supplies and reduced the duration of power shortages since it took over in October 2010.
In a statement, she said: “We are investing £360million this year and £1.8billion before 2015 to maintain and upgrade our electricity networks.
“Regardless of how much we protect, maintain and improve our network, faults can still occur, often due to reasons beyond our control and when this happens we restore supplies as quickly as possible.
“We would like to apologise to customers who have been affected.”