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Compensation claims following January 2018 power outage

Maddens Lawyers is offering to assist business owners and households that were substantially impacted by Victoria’s 28 January 2018 blackout to advance compensation claims for losses incurred as a result of the prolonged outage events.

Outages effected approximately 95,000 customers throughout Victoria during extreme heat conditions on Sunday 28 January and Monday 29 January.  Customers serviced by electricity distributors United Energy, Powercor and CitiPower were the worst affected.

CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy have attributed the blackouts to a number of fuse faults across their networks.  CitiPower and Powercor have also advised that an outage in the Bellarine Peninsula area, which impacted approximately 17,500 customers, was the result of an incident with two cables at a zone substation.

Those that suffered substantial losses as a result of the blackout are encouraged to contact Maddens by registering online.

The cause of each of the faults will continue to be investigated by the relevant electricity distributors, in conjunction with the Australian Energy Regulator.

 Frequently asked questions

Who will a claim for compensation be made against?

Maddens Lawyers is offering to progress claims for compensation against your electricity distributor.

There are six electricity distributors that service separate geographic regions across Victoria. They are: United Energy, CitiPower, Powercor Australia, AusNet Services, Jemena and Essential Energy.

Your electricity distributor is generally responsible for maintaining the electrical assets on the distribution network such as poles, fuses and wires. In most instances, your distributor is also responsible for ensuring that you are provided with a reliable energy supply.

Maddens Lawyers will advise you of the distributor that services your region.

How will my compensation claim be formulated?

Businesses and households that have suffered losses associated with forced closure, loss of income or spoilt stock/food may be entitled to make a claim for consequential losses.

In addition, electricity distributors are required to meet ‘Guaranteed Service Levels’ (GSLs). GSLs are regulated by Victoria’s Essential Services Commission and are in place to ensure that minimum service levels are met. Electricity distributors can fail to meet GSLs as a result of unplanned interruptions to supply as well as well as delays associated with the restoration of electricity supply.

When GSLs are not met, customers may be entitled to compensation. Compensation associated with failing to meet GSLs is generally standardised and of a modest amount.

Will I automatically be entitled to compensation if I was impacted by the blackout?

Not necessarily.

Numerous blackouts occurred on 28 January 2018. These blackouts predominately impacted electrical networks managed by CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy. At the peak of the blackout, approximately 95,000 businesses and households were without power. A number of faults contributed to the blackout. These faults occurred at various locations and are presently being investigated.

Electricity distributors are not automatically responsible for each outage that occurs on their network. The nature of each individual fault and whether that fault ought to have been avoided entirely or repaired more promptly will impact upon whether the electricity distributor is prepared to consider claims for compensation.

Maddens Lawyers is continuing to investigate each of the faults and the potential liability and/or negligence of each of the electricity distributors.

How will legal fees be calculated and charged?

Maddens Lawyers is offering to advance compensation claims on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means that if we are unable to secure compensation for you, you will not receive a bill of costs from us.

As part of your compensation claim we will also request that your electricity distributor make payment for any legal costs you incur.

Accordingly, engaging Maddens Lawyers is a risk free way to advance a claim for compensation.

Why should I engage a lawyer to advance my compensation claim?

It is our experience that businesses and individuals are often unaware of the full extent of the types of loss that they can be compensated for. We strongly recommend you seek assistance from an experienced lawyer to ensure that your claim is formulated in accordance with legal principles and is as comprehensive as possible.

Why Maddens Lawyers?

It is important that those impacted by the electricity blackout receive accurate information about their legal entitlements from a firm that has expertise in representing individuals that have been affected by the electrical industry.

Maddens Lawyers have represented thousands of businesses and individuals who have suffered property damage and consequential loss due to bushfires alleged to have been ignited as a result of the inadequate maintenance of electrical distribution networks. We have secured millions of dollars of compensation on behalf of these bushfire victims.

Our team has acquired a detailed understanding of the electrical industry and we are well placed to assist you to promptly advance a comprehensive claim for compensation.