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Electricity fault leaves Furneux Pelham's Brewery Tap pub-restaurant without kitchen ovens, lights and hot water 'for up to a week'




A village pub-restaurant struck down by a kitchen power cut is facing a wait of up to a week for the fault to be repaired.

Ebe Bonner, the owner of Furneux Pelham's Brewery Tap, has slammed electricity supplier PFP Energy for its "comical" and "unbelievable" response.

The pub's ovens, lights and hot water are out of action. It stressed that it remained open for business: it has fired up its outdoor pizza oven and is serving drinks but having to close before dark.

Owner Ebe Bonner by the problem meter cupboard. Pic: Vikki Lince (48073032)
Owner Ebe Bonner by the problem meter cupboard. Pic: Vikki Lince (48073032)

In the meantime, customers with bookings are being contacted by the pub. It stressed that it remained open for drinks and pizza and would keep people updated on its progress to get up and running again.

The problem happened on Wednesday (June 9). An electrician called to the site concluded it was a problem with the pub's electricity meter. Ebe contacted PFP, to be told that the fault was not with the meter but with distributor UK Power Networks' supply into the meter.

"I rang UK Power and they were here within an hour. Their engineer did his check and said the input to the meter was fine, it was the output that was the problem," she told the Indie on Thursday (June 10).

Chef Matt Vigus and sous chef Bradley Penton get the pizza oven up and running. Pic: Vikki Lince (48073156)
Chef Matt Vigus and sous chef Bradley Penton get the pizza oven up and running. Pic: Vikki Lince (48073156)

Despite numerous lengthy calls to the energy provider, Ebe said she could only ever speak to a call centre advisor and PFP kept "passing the buck back" to UK Power Networks, claiming the meter was not at fault.

"Meanwhile we have to clear all our reservations and we have five people on the pay role who cannot work," she said.

"I said to PFP I needed a timescale and I was told it could be up to seven working days to get it up and running again.

"We've had to fire up our pizza oven and luckily the fridges and freezers aren't affected.

Furneux Pelham mother and daughter Ebe and Lucy Bonner took on their local pub as a business in 2018. Pic: Vikki Lince (48065312)
Furneux Pelham mother and daughter Ebe and Lucy Bonner took on their local pub as a business in 2018. Pic: Vikki Lince (48065312)

"We're doing what we can, but PFP's response has been comical."

Ebe added: "Our business insurance doesn't cover us for a domestic fault so we cannot reclaim last night's losses.

"How the company can take on a business contract and not provide for us is unbelievable – they're not answerable to anyone. What would they do if it was a care home... if they've logged this as an emergency and this is how they respond?"

The disruption is a blow for the business, which less than four weeks ago began to welcome back diners indoors following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Brewery Tap posted on its Instagram page: "Just as we were emerging from the chaos of Covid, the main phase on our electricity meter is faulty and therefore we have no power to the kitchen, so no ovens or extractor fans and no hot water.

"We are open for drinks until it is dark and there is lighting to the upstairs loo only. We will of course update you as soon as we are able to cook again, but for now we hope you can join us for drinks in our lovely garden."

Ebe added: "We're fixed into a five-year contract with PFP and I'm coming out of it as soon as I can. They've been so unprofessional and my hands are tied. I cannot speak to anyone whereas UK Power Network have been most helpful."

The Indie contacted PFP on Thursday for a comment and is still awaiting a response.



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