Teams working on the West side of Shetland - image credit to @chitsy697 on Twitter

Power line crews working on the West Side of Shetland | Image credit: @chitsy697 on Twitter

SSEN engineers and line crews have now restored power to all 5289 homes impacted by the extreme snow and ice storm that hit Shetland on Monday.

The final 24 homes in Vementry, Grobsness, Brechin and Watsness were connected at 4pm this afternoon following six days of intensive work by our 160-strong field operations team, bolstered by additional line crews from contract partners and network operators, including Keltbray, SP Energy Networks and Northern Powergrid.

We will continue to make permanent repairs to bring the network to full operation and prevent further power cuts. This may require temporary planned disconnections for short periods. Customers will be notified of these in advance, wherever possible. This is necessary to reconnect customers who are still without power to the main network following offline repairs.

We’re asking any customers who remain without power to contact us on 105 to report this, as it may be a very localised fault or an issue with your internal electrical supply.

Information and criteria for statutory compensation, which will be issued automatically, and additional reimbursement of reasonable food and accommodation costs can be found below.

Mark Macdonald, Head of Region at SSEN Distribution, said:

“On behalf of everyone at SSEN, I’d like to thank customers and communities for their patience as our teams battled to restore supplies and assist the welfare effort. We recognise it was a difficult time for many, and this helped drive our teams to restore power as quickly as possible.

“The scale of ice-loading on our network from Monday’s storm brought comparisons of when the ‘Big Snaa’ hit Shetland in 1995, with many of our teams and residents saying the scale of damage this time was even worse.  I’m immensely proud of the teams for their dedication and commitment in overcoming significant engineering challenges and getting the job done.

“It’s clear that the sense of community in Shetland is very special, with local groups coming together to provide welfare where it was needed and help keep people warm and fed. This extends to the excellent coordinating role played by Shetland Islands Council, Police Scotland and all organisations in the Local Resilience Partnership, of which SSEN was proud to play our part.

“We’re also very grateful to residents who have taken the time to thank our line crews and welfare support teams and also to the businesses and community volunteers who gave up their own time to help feed our teams. This lifted spirits during some very tough conditions.

“Our teams will continue to work on the network in the coming days to restore its normal resilient operation. In doing this, we will try to minimise the need for any planned interruptions, but if we do need to turn off your power for a short period, we’ll let you know in advance.”

Due to the extent of the damage and travel challenges, enacting our restoration plan involved a significant logistical effort and thanks must go our travel partners, particularly NorthLink Ferries, for keeping our teams moving and to RJ McLeod and many local shops, restaurants, and hotels for helping ensure our line crews were well fed and rested. Credit also goes to our mobile generation partner, DH Marine, who pulled out the stops to generate 20 Warm Hubs, EMN Plant Hire Shetland for their tireless support with plant and equipment, and PDG Aviation for providing vital assistance from the skies.

SSEN has issued a weather warning for Sunday into Monday in parts of our north of Scotland network area. At this time, no significant risk is expected in Shetland.




Compensation arrangements

Once all final assessments have been carried out, customers will be entitled to compensation under the regulated Guaranteed Standards of Performance. For power interruptions over 48 hours, customers will receive £70, with a further £70 for every subsequent 12-hour period they were off supply. You do not need to contact us to request compensation. This process is automatic and will be processed as quickly as possible in the weeks after the event. You can expect to receive your compensation in January. Direct communication on this process will follow.


Customers are reminded that we offered to reimburse reasonable food costs for a hot meal if customers were unable to access the welfare locations organised in collaboration with Shetland Islands Council, the Local Resilience Partnership and local communities. Customers can claim up to £30 per person for every 24 hours they were without power (from 3pm on Tuesday 13 December) and are reminded to keep their receipts.

We also offered to reimburse reasonable costs for alternative accommodation if customers were unable to make arrangements to travel and stay with a family member or friend.

How to claim reimbursement costs:

To make a reimbursement claim in line with the guidance above, please visit this page. After inserting and confirming your details, choose ‘power cut’ and ‘reimbursement’ on the drop-down menus, attach your receipts and submit. Anyone who may need support to process claims should call our customer contact centre on 105, where our dedicated teams will be happy to raise a claim manually on your behalf.

About this author

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We are the electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) responsible for delivering power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and the north of Scotland. We serve some of the most diverse and unique geographies across the UK, and keep customers and communities connected whilst developing the flexible electricity network vital to achieving net zero.