Two electricity companies have each been fined 40,000 Australian dollars (US $28,589) for cutting power to people on life support.
“The firms Energex and Evoenergy were found to have put lives in danger during planned outages by failing to warn customers on life support that their electricity would be cut,’’ the Australian Energy Regulator said in a statement.
“Protection of life support customers is a high priority, as the consequences of an unexpected loss of supply for customers who rely on life support equipment can be dangerous or even fatal.
“Life support customers must receive advance notice of any planned interruptions to their energy supply, allowing them to make alternate arrangements,” AER chair, Paula Conboy, said.
AER regulates electricity and gas providers, using retail law to enforce protective measures for households and businesses.
Energex, a subsidiary of a Queensland state government authority, is a repeat offender.
It has been fined no less than $60,000 annually since 2016 for cutting off power to people on life support without proper warning.
Both firms said customers were not seriously affected.
Energex blamed human error, while Evoenergy blamed a fault in its automated system.
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