ACT electricity and gas distributor Evoenergy has paid a $20,000 penalty after failing to notify life support customers of a planned interruption.
The Australian Energy Regulator alleged three life support customers did not receive the required four business days’ notice, in writing, of a planned interruption to their electricity supply.
AER chair Paula Conboy said protecting customers who require life support equipment is an ongoing priority for the AER.
“Customers relying on life support equipment are particularly vulnerable and any unexpected loss of supply can have dangerous, and even fatal, consequences,” Ms Conboy said.
“It is imperative that these customers receive advanced notice of any planned interruption to their energy supply so they can make alternative plans.”
The National Energy Retail Law and Retail Rules (which apply in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania) set out key protections for energy customers requiring life support equipment and the obligations on retail and distribution businesses they buy their energy from.
In August 2017, Evoenergy paid $20,000 in penalties following the issue of an infringement notice by the AER in relation to another incident where a customer known to require life support equipment unexpectedly lost electricity supply.
The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the National Energy Retail Rules.
The AER can issue an infringement notice where it has reason to believe a business has contravened a civil penalty provision of the Retail Rules.