Lucknow business owner in the dark over day-time power outage

NOT HAPPY: The owner of 2 Fat Ladies Cafe and Lolly Shop Alyson Yager wants to know why Lucknow had to endure a power outage for most of Wednesday.
Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0730sgpower1

NOT HAPPY: The owner of 2 Fat Ladies Cafe and Lolly Shop Alyson Yager wants to know why Lucknow had to endure a power outage for most of Wednesday. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0730sgpower1

THE owner of 2 Fat Ladies Cafe and Lolly Shop Alyson Yager says Essential Energy’s decision to cut the power supply to Lucknow for five-and-a half hours on Wednesday cost her customers and money.

Ms Yager said she understood the work needed to be done, but did not understand why it could not have been completed after-hours.

“Lucknow is a small town that can’t afford to be out for the day,” she said.

While the outage was scheduled and residents where notified, Ms Yager said the time and length of the outage was problematic.

“This put the whole town out ... why didn’t they do it at night?” she asked.

Ms Yager contacted Essential Energy in the lead-up to the outage and was told the company would cover the cost of hiring a generator.

While the money would cover the hire, it would not cover transportation, fuel or the cost of hiring an electrician to connect and disconnect it.

“I paid for an electrician to be here from 7.15am until 11.30am,” Ms Yager said.

“My beef is if they’re going to do something to compensate you, then they should cover all costs.”

On two occasions Ms Yager was forced to turn away customers because she had no power at all.

She is at a loss to explain why Essential Energy did not supply a large generator that could be used to power the whole town, as had been done during a previous outage.

Essential Energy south eastern area manaer Phillip Green confirmed the company undertook scheduled maintenance on the electricity distribution network in Lucknow on Wednesday.

“A planned power supply interruption was required to allow work crews access to the network and provide them with a safe working environment,” he said.

“Work in daylight hours was essential for safety, given there were several crews operating across multiple sites in urban and rural areas.”

Mr Green said Essential Energy did not normally provide customers with a generator when a planned supply interruption was scheduled. 

“Essential Energy notifies customers in advance of any planned supply interruption, enabling households and businesses to put their own contingency plans in place,” he said.

“[However] Essential Energy always encourages customers to contact us to discuss exceptional individual circumstances.”

Customers affected by the supply interruption were notified on July 15.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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