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25 June 2024

Northland consumers could be in for power outage payouts

According to Consumer NZ, Northland residents who lost power during last week’s widespread outage may be eligible for compensation for losses caused by the outage.

“The Consumer Guarantees Act says electricity supply must be of an acceptable quality,” said Jessica Walker, campaigns manager at Consumer.

“We understand that people may not be eligible for compensation if a severe weather event or natural disaster causes a power outage, but this is different.

“It’s now been disclosed that last week’s outage was caused by catastrophic human error, which we think means impacted residents have a strong case for claiming compensation for any consequential losses.

“Consequential losses could include something like a fridge or freezer full of food that spoiled because your appliance lost power,” said Walker.

Consumer has produced an information hub to help impacted residents understand their rights and how to submit claims for compensation.

“And it does not matter whether you are a prepay or pay monthly customer, we think you are equally protected by the Consumer Guarantees Act.

“If you want to submit a claim you should contact your electricity retailer. You can head to Consumer’s website for a handy template to help with your claim.

“As your electricity retailer is your contracted intermediary with the sector, we think it should sort out your reimbursement for any outage related losses.

“If your retailer refuses your request for compensation, it should tell you why. If you are not satisfied with the response and you want to discuss what you can do you can contact Utilities Disputes. Utilities Disputes is a free and independent service for all electricity customers.”

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