Residents condemn planned power outage on 40-degree day

ESSENTIAL Energy has bowed to public outrage that planned power outages on a 40-degree day will cost residents hundreds of dollars in lost food and knock around the frail or elderly.

The local energy provider planned to cut power to dozens of Kooringal homes on Thursday between 9am and 3pm to replace poles. But furious residents slamming the decision saw Essential Energy reduce the outage to 55 customers and until 1pm. 

The move has done little to appease Kooringal resident, Taz Dughetti, who fears her young baby and asthmatic son will still be affected by the “no common-sense decision”.

“It’s still peak heat,” she said. “Why don’t they push it back until the heat wave goes away? I just can’t believe they’re going ahead with it. We have a lot of housing commission houses around this area of Kooringal and low-income earners with young ones, elderly … It’s a complete disregard.”

Tolland resident Danielle Graham empathises with affected Kooringal residents. Last week, her power was turned off for two days, causing her to lose $100 worth of meat and $20 worth of milk.

“It doesn’t make any sense why they’d do it in this heat,” she said. “How is this fair?”

Essential Energy southern region manager Steven Ilitch said works were always planned in advance and all customers were given at least four working business days’ notice.

“(Thursday’s) power outage in Kooringal has been reviewed to reduce the duration of the outage and the number of customers affected due to forecast hot conditions,” he said.

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