A colony of grey-headed flying foxes spreading from Batemans Bay to surrounding suburbs continues to cause power problems in the Eurobodalla.
Residents, including those with medical conditions requiring electricity for treatment, and businesses have lost power many times in recent weeks.
Essential Energy acting regional manager for the southern region, Mathew Rogers, said field staff had been busy responding to power outages in areas between Batemans Bay and Narooma, including Tomakin, Rosedale, Malua Bay and Surf Beach, caused by the flying foxes.
“Unfortunately, flying fox activity is high at the moment due to the presence of flowering food sources in the area and is not isolated to an individual section of the local electricity network,” Mr Rogers said.
“Residents in the area would have experienced intermittent power outages due to Essential Energy’s safety equipment switching off supply after the flying foxes contact powerlines or network equipment.
“The same network protection equipment is able to determine if it is safe to switch the power back on or if Essential Energy crews need to attend.”
Customers who rely on a continuous supply of power for medical equipment are advised to have a back-up plan in case of an unplanned power outage. In a medical emergency, call Triple-0 (000) and ask for an ambulance, Essential Energy advised.
“While we undertake regular maintenance and upgrade programs, our overhead electricity network is subject to external factors such as storms, wildlife and vehicle accidents that can cause power outages,” Mr Rogers said.
“We encourage customers to contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80 for information about unplanned power outages.”
Essential Energy is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage to understand the nature of the influx of flying foxes to the area and where possible, re-routing the local electricity network to minimise the number of customers affected by power outages.