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City council should become emergency energy retailer: Moran

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The Adelaide city council should buy portable electricity generators for lease to vulnerable residents and city businesses during future blackouts, Anne Moran says.

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The area councillor says people living in the CBD and North Adelaide who require breathing apparatus, elderly people who cannot afford air conditioning and small retailers stocking frozen goods would find “great comfort” in the knowledge that backup generators were available to hire in an emergency.

She said several businesses had lost frozen goods during the statewide blackout in September last year.

“(Council generators) would be a great comfort for retailers and residents,” she told InDaily.

“We’re a very small council with a concentration of small (retailers).”

Moran said she did not know how much it would cost to buy the generators or how the council would prioritise energy generation during a blackout, but that the idea was worth looking into nonetheless.

“I don’t think diesel generators are very expensive,” she said.

“(But) if it’s not doable, clearly we’ll not do that.

“If the need is too great then we’ll have to look at something else … we might put a rebate on buying a generator.”

She said her proposal “stems from the mistaken belief that we’re (already) doing it”.

Area councillor Anne Moran. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Business-scale power generators retail at between $299 and $25,000, depending on the model and the energy output.

Last year, the city council briefly considered taking legal action, seeking compensation, for losses incurred during last year’s statewide blackout – but decided not to pursue it.

That blackout cost SA businesses more than $300 million, according to a Business SA survey.

A council spokesperson said staff would investigate Moran’s proposal and provide comment on it when it is presented to the council at a meeting next Tuesday.

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