Northern Powergrid apologises to customers for £2.3tr Storm Arwen compensation cheque mistake

Energy distributor Northern Powergrid has apologised to dozens of customers after accidentally issuing them with Storm Arwen compensation cheques for £2.3 trillion.

The power company is in the process of paying compensation to tens of thousands of customers who suffered power blackouts when when "once in a generation" winds swept across the UK in November.

One recipient took to Twitter to share picture of the eye-watering sum and ask if the company could really afford it.

"Thank you for our compensation payment Northern Powergrid for the several days we were without power following Storm Arwen," wrote Gareth Hughes.

"Before I bank the cheque however, are you 100% certain you can afford this? #trillionpounds"

Mr Hughes told Sky News the letter "just made me laugh".

He said: "I knew straight away it wouldn't be honoured, but it was nice to dream for a couple of minutes."

A company representative responded on Twitter, thanking him for "bringing this to our attention".

Mr Hughes's tweet has been liked almost 27,000 times in under four hours, with many other users chiming in to make fun of the faux pas.

"No wonder our bills are big!," joked one user. Another posted: "I think you own Northern Powergrid now."

One person urged the customer to "Bank it! Then share it equally between us all."

Danielle Henderson says she lost electricity for a week during the storm and today received a cheque for £1,580,000,956,104.

"When we opened the letter we laughed in all honesty," she told Sky News.

"It's been a comedy of errors since the electricity went off for a week."

The supplier confirmed 74 of their customers had been given compensation cheques with an incorrect payment amount and thanked those who were "honest" about the error.

A spokeswoman for Northern Powergrid said: "As soon as we identified the clerical error, which was caused by the electricity meter reference number being incorrectly quoted as the payment sum, we ensured all 74 customers' cheques were stopped so they could not be cashed.

"We have been investigating how this error happened and carrying out checks of previous payments.

"All indications are that this was an isolated incident.

"We thank those customers who were honest and contacted us and we have been making contact directly over the weekend with all 74 customers affected to make them aware, apologise for the error and reassure them that a correct payment will be issued to them on Monday."