Energy suppliers cut power to life support machines

Two major energy suppliers have been penalised $20,000 each after switching off the power to life support patients in NSW and the ACT without giving the proper notice.

The Australian Energy Regulator issued the fines to Ausgrid and ActewAGL Distribution after separate incidents where customers known to require life support equipment unexpectedly lost electricity supply during planned works.  

The AER alleged the affected life support customers did notreceive the required notice of at least four business days, in writing, of a planned interruption to their electricity supply.  

While the payment of a penalty is not an admission of guilt, the two companies offered up the money to the regulator, the AER said in a statement on Friday.  

These aren’t the companies’ first reported offences. Ausgrid paid $100,000 in penalties in June over five alleged breaches of the life support obligations.  

The company has assured the AER it is undertaking a review of its related systems and procedures. ActewAGL paid $20,000 in 2015, after failing to provide the proper information to life support customers.

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