Electricity Compensation Claims
On 23 August the Sentinel reported that 8 residents from different households in the Blue Hill district had submitted compensation claims to SHG after suffering simultaneous damage to electrical equipment following a suspected power spike in the area.
Nearly 2 months on we have been informed all residents initial claims were turned down, including Joy Bowers (washing machine failure) and her son Kurt (pictured) who suffered electrical damage to his X-Box and stereo. The residents have asked for more information on the decision and had been told to wait until the Head of Energy returned to the island from holiday. As he is now back on island Blue Hill residents are hoping to have a response soon.
Over the last few months consumers throughout the island have been subjected to an alarmingly high number of unplanned power cuts at various times throughout the day and night, the most recent being last weekend.
On Monday evening, this week, constituents attending meetings in both Longwood and Kingshurst were surprised to learn from councillors that there are procedures in place for claims to be made to SHG Crown Counsel for electrical equipment damaged by the electricity supply. (There was talk at Longwood about claim forms, but it has since been verified that there are no forms for this purpose.)
Director of Infrastructure and Utilities, David Thomson, clarified that in order for consumers to claim the value of damages to electrical equipment they would need to do so in writing and for a claim to be successful would “need to prove or have evidence of negligence on the part of St Helena Government.” He added, “the electricity going on or off, or a tree coming down across the lines is not negligence.” There are no records of any successful claims for electrical damage having been paid out to residents by SHG.