SEVERAL million pounds of investment into the electricity network in the North West is being fast-forwarded following a review into the reaction to Storm Arwen.

Electricity North West has brought forward £5.2 million of investment, to improve and enhance its network and restoration systems, on top of the £140m which it spends on reliability and resilience each year.

The company has also announced it is investing an additional £1.2m in systems to provide more accurate information on restoration times, in direct response to customer feedback following the storm.

This comes as Ofgem announced electricity networks provided an “unacceptable service” during the storm and its aftermath, following an independent review.

Company director Stephanie Trubshaw said: “We know how difficult Storm Arwen was for so many people, and it provided challenges on a scale that we simply haven’t seen before which impacted both repair and restoration times.

“In some areas we had whole forests that fell on power lines, taking down up to 3km of overhead lines in places.

“The investment we’re making, which is already underway, will not only help improve restoration times, but also provide us more information about when and where equipment is damaged so that we can give more accurate updates to customers affected.”

Electricity North West has paid out more than £2m in compensation payments set by energy regulator, Ofgem, as well as an additional £2m in voluntary compensation payments.

The company also provided food provisions just short of £200,000 to communities whilst £52,000 was spent on accommodation and fuel support for its customers.