Elderly man left with no power for six days following heart surgery
Summary: AN ELDERLY Seaford man recovering from heart surgery was forced to huddle under a doona to stay warm after his electricity was cut off for six days.....
The power at Kevin Gray’s property was meant to be off for a day to allow a power pole to be moved during level crossing removal works.
But Mr Gray was livid when he returned home — expecting the power to be back on — to find a defect notice from United Energy.
In the notice, the energy provider stated Mr Gray’s meter board did not comply with standards and needed to be replaced.
Mr Gray, who had only been out of hospital for two weeks following heart surgery, said he was stunned by the turn of events.
“I thought ‘hells bells, I’ve been here for so many years and now I’m going to be out of pocket because the house is old’,” he said.
Mr Gray’s daughter, Karen, tried for days to negotiate with United Energy to get the power back on.
“He had no lights and no refrigeration. I brought camping lanterns to the house for him,” she said.
But Ms Gray angrily gave up after several fruitless phone calls and frantically organised for an electrician to do the required works, which cost more than $2000.
United Energy spokeswoman Emma Tyner said a crew member who went to restore power had identified electrical safety issues at the home.
“Unfortunately, as the safety defects were on the customer’s side of the network, we were unable to reconnect the property until the customer was able to have them fixed,” Ms Tyner said.
“We understand how frustrating this situation was for Mr Gray, however, this was about ensuring the safety of him and our crews.”