After 17 days with no power, Richard wants better answers

Public Interest Advocacy Centre consumer advocate Craig Memery said distribution companies should have more portable batteries and petrol generators they can drop off to households that are severed from the grid.

‘It is possible for network businesses to provide temporary battery and generator systems that can meet people’s basic needs of keeping their fridges and lights running,’ he said.

Memery said another option was standalone power systems, including solar panels, batteries and generators, which households in remote locations could use to operate independently of the electricity grid.

Under this arrangement, consumers would pay energy retailers as usual, even though they are not connected to the broader grid. He said standalone power systems were most effective for remote properties at the end of single power lines.

‘It probably makes no sense at all to upgrade that power line when you can put in a standalone power supply for a lower price.’

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