Union accuses Essential Energy of penny pinching

ESSENTIAL Energy has refuted union accusations that a decision to hold off repairs following a major power failure at a Goonellabah nursing home last weekend was to save money.

ETU secretary Steve Butler accused the electricity supplier of penny pinching after an underground cable fault caused a complete power failure at Caroona Nursing Home about 2pm last Friday.

Essential Energy stalled repairs until Monday, citing safety issues around working in the dark, and brought in two portable generators which failed unexpectedly due to the warm weather on Sunday.

"On-call workers could have had this high voltage cable repaired and normal power restored by late Friday night or Saturday morning," Mr Butler said.

But an Essential Energy spokeswoman said that while the company was "cost conscious" it always put the safety of staff and customers first.

Power was restored to the facility on Tuesday.

Topics:  essential energy

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