People need to be prepared for power outages – Consumer NZ

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Yesterday’s brief power emergency is a good reminder for people to prepare for power outages, according to a consumer advocacy organization.

Power lines on a cloudy sky
Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

National grid operator Transpower issued an alert to power companies just before 8 a.m. on Thursday, warning of a risk of generation and insufficient reserves to meet demand.

Paul Fuge of Consumer New Zealand said complacency about power outages is the downside of having a generally reliable system.

“People kind of get used to their power being reliable and we’re not prepared like we probably should be for the situation…situations will arise no matter how hard you try, you know there’s always going to be a when things don’t go according to plan or the weather doesn’t play ball or we get an emergency.”

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Consumers should be aware of the risk of power outages and ensure they are prepared for an outage to occur at any time, he said.

The National Party said the vulnerability of power supplies was a major concern.

Opposition spokesman Nicola Willis said the energy minister’s main job was to keep the lights on, and the grid emergency showed that was in jeopardy.

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“National was clear – we thought the decision to stop oil and gas exploration was wrong and we are now seeing the consequences.

“We are now importing more coal from Indonesia than ever before and we are seeing greater insecurity in our energy supply as generators are less able to turn to gas for a solution.”

Energy Minister Megan Woods said the national grid operator had worked with power companies to reduce load – including shutting off hot water – and no one had lost power. electricity, she said.

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Power has been restored to parts of Waikato

Meanwhile, power outages affecting the Otorohanga, Te Kuiti and Waitomo areas last night appeared to have been caused by a bird strike, Transpower said.

Power was restored to the substation at 11:15 p.m. and it should have taken the local lines company about 30 minutes to restore it for everyone, the generator said.

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