BUSINESSES in central Surbiton say they are being hit by repeated power cuts which are threatening their livelihood.
Last week shops and offices in the Victoria Road area were hit by seven power cuts, lasting several hours at a time, forcing some to shut up for the day.
Steve Davidson, who owns graphic design centre Marketing Impact, in Newmans Lane, said their complaints had got them nowhere.
"It's like burning money," he said. "It's been going on since January and in the past week has got worse. Whenever the power cuts out we lose work that hasn't been saved on computers and we can't get any with any more work so I'm paying my staff to just sit there, doing nothing.
"At a time like this, with lots of small businesses in the area, none of us can afford for something like this to happen. It's not just hitting businesses, it's inconvenient for people too – I've heard it's effected the bank and the post office too, which means that old people collecting their pensions have been stuck without it.
"Once or twice would be OK – it happens, but we're all getting really fed up of it now."
Estate agents Let Me and Victoria Newsagents said their power had been repeatedly cut off too.
A spokesman for supplier EDF said: "We would like to apologise to about 20 customers in the Victoria Road area of Surbiton for a recent series of power interruptions stretching back to the beginning of April. After investigation, our engineers have found that the electricity distribution network in the area has been experiencing problems, leading to the faults.
"To result the situation we have now upgraded equipment and reconfigured the network to reinforce the circuit in the area. We are determine to provide these customers with a more reliable supply of electricity.
"We are investigating the options to provide greater security in the longer term and in the meantime we will continue to monitor the situation. If we find any other related problem we will deal with them as quickly as possible."