Two more distributors penalised for leaving customers in the dark

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Two more electricity distributors have been penalised by Victoria’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 October 22, 2018, that lasted over an hour in East Melbourne. Powercor allegedly failed to notify customers of a planned outage on October 15, 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.