SA households to share $20m blackout compensation

Darkened substation

Approximately 80,000 South Australian households will share a $20 million compensation package following December’s extended blackout, according to The Advertiser.

Many homes in the Adelaide Hills were left without power for almost five days as SA Power Networks (SAPN) worked to clear trees and fix fallen wires in wind gusts reaching up to 120km/h. More than 155,000 households were without power for extended periods. SAPN spokesperson Paul Roberts estimated 80,000 of those households would receive compensation.

“This is the worst storm we have ever experienced in terms of minutes of supply lost for customers and in terms of the amount we will need to pay in Guaranteed Service Level payments,” Mr Roberts said.

“On average, each year South Australians are without power for 168 minutes. This storm alone will exceed that figure.”

Homes left without power for more than 12 hours are eligible for payments of $100, with a maximum of $605 given to households that went without power for more than 48 hours.

The long-term impact of the December blackout is expected to have a significant effect on many households and businesses, with Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride predicting the final losses would climb into the tens of millions.

The Essential Services Commission is investing December’s outage as part of its significant performance event reporting framework, however, it has yet to determine if it will examine SAPN’s staffing levels or its power restoration performance.