Two more electricity distributors penalised for leaving customers in the dark
27 June 2019
Two more electricity distributors have been penalised by the state’s energy regulator after leaving customers in the dark without warning.
CitiPower and Powercor have each paid $30,000 in penalties after allegedly failing to give customers four business days’ notice about planned power outages in October last year, as required by the state’s energy rules.
CitiPower allegedly failed to notify customers of a planned outage on 22 October 2018 that lasted over an hour in East Melbourne. Powercor allegedly failed to notify customers of a planned outage on 15 October 2018 that left customers in Iraak, 35km south-east of Mildura, without power for two and a half hours.
Essential Services Commission director of energy Sarah McDowell says even brief interruptions can have a serious impact on customers who don’t have a chance to prepare.
“Failing to notify customers about planned interruptions means they’re left without heating or lighting, unable to cook and cut off from the internet,” she said.
The commission has now taken action against all five of the state’s electricity distributors for failing to notify customers of planned outages after announcing a crackdown in mid-2017.
Jemena Electricity paid $50,000 after it left customers in Greenvale without electricity for 30 minutes on 22 October 2018.
Today, the state energy regulator also published its compliance and enforcement priorities for 2019-20 with planned interruptions a continuing priority.
Editor’s note: The commission can issue an energy industry penalty notice where it has reason to believe an energy business has committed an energy industry contravention. The payment of a penalty is not an admission of a contravention of their licences.