Life support customers are customers who may have medical conditions that requires ongoing electricity and/or water supply to their property. Registering as a life support customer with us and your retailer is essential.
Registered life support customers will be notified four days in advance of any planned service interruptions under the National Energy Retail Rules. This will give you time to make alternative arrangements for life support needs during planned service interruptions.
Having a backup plan is important even if you are registered with us. Water and power supply outages can happen unexpectedly at any time, so it’s important to have a plan and be prepared.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some examples of equipment used when life support registration is required:
- External heart pumps
- Respirators (iron lung)
- Suction pumps (respiratory or gastric)
- Feeding pumps (kangaroo pump or total parenteral nutrition)
- Insulin pumps
- Airbed vibrator
- Hot water
- Nebuliser, humidifiers or vaporisers
- Apnoea monitors
- Medically-required heating and air conditioning
- Medically-required refrigeration
- Powered wheelchair
- Dialysis treatment for customers requiring ongoing treatment
- Oxygen concentrator for patients who require ongoing assistance with oxygen intake
- Intermittent peritoneal dialysis machine
- Chronic positive airways pressure respirator. This machine assists the patient with breathing and is often required when a person suffers from type 1 or type 2 respiratory failures
- Crigler-najjar syndrome phototherapy equipment for patients requiring phototherapy treatments
- Ventilators for life support to assist the patient to ventilate the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air. This can be referred to as artificial respiration.
If you rely on equipment that is not listed above, contact your medical practitioner to confirm if you require life support.
Critical service may be applied to commercial customers when:
- Fridges or cool storage is used to store sensitive medical supplies and medicines
- Medical clinics/hospitals as they are essential services in the community.
To register as a life support or critical service customer you will need to contact us or your electricity retailer and provide a life support application or renewal form signed by your doctor as proof that you require life support equipment. The medical certificate must be provided within 50 business days from when you contacted us advising of your life support or critical service needs.
- In the event that you do not provide the life support application/renewal form within 15 business days from the date of notification, the first reminder notice will be sent.
- The second reminder will be sent 15 days from the date the first reminder notice was issued.
- One extension of a minimum of 25 business days can be requested at any time during the process (not necessarily in this sequence).
- Finally a deregistration notice will be sent 15 days from the date of the second reminder notice.
- After 50 business days with no customer response the life support will be removed from the customer’s account
Remember to contact your retailer in the event that your details change.
Talk to your carer, family and friends about having a backup plan that covers what to do if your services are interrupted without warning.
In the event of an unplanned outage to your required services you need to have a backup plan in place.
When an unplanned outage occurs we are unable to accurately determine how long it may take to restore until our crews have located the fault and investigated the cause.
Things you should consider:
- Who will you call?Will you call a friend/relative/carer or emergency services?
- Where will you go?
Will you go to a friend's/relative's/carer's house, medical clinic or hospital?
- How will you get there?
Will you drive, or will a friend/relative/carer or ambulance take you?
- How will you contact people?
Consider what you will do if your landline does not work without electricity or if your mobile phone is flat.
Life support customers are reviewed each year to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date. This process requires for you to visit your doctor and have them sign the Life Support Application or renewal form. Once that has been completed, submit it to us to verify.
In the meantime, please ensure your contact details are up-to-date in the event that we need to contact you.
You can contact our Customer Service Centre for more information.