Medically dependent and vulnerable customers

The Electricity Authority is responsible for monitoring compliance with guidelines in regards to arrangements to assist medically dependent and vulnerable customers.


Medically Dependent Customers (MDC)

If you or someone living with you depends on your mains power to run critical medical support equipment, then you may qualify as a MDC. 

According to the Electricity Authority a medically dependent customer is: 'a domestic consumer who is dependent on mains electricity for critical medial support, such that loss of electricity may result in loss of life or serious harm. For the avoidance of doubt, medical dependence on electricity could be for the use of medical or other electrical equipment needed to support the treatment regime (e.g. a microwave to heat fluids for renal dialysis)

View the Electricity Authority's fact sheet for medically dependent consumers (MDC) here.


Vulnerable Customer

According to the Electricity Authority, a vulnerable customer is:

  • a domestic consumer of electricity whose health or well being would be seriously threatened if their electricity supply was cut and/or 
  • a domestic consumer who is finding it genuinely difficult to pay their electricity bills because of severe financial insecurity, whether temporary or permanent. 

View the Electricity Authority's fact sheet for vulnerable customers here

If your power company doesn’t accept that you are a vulnerable consumer, you should:

  • make a formal complaint in writing to your power company
  • if this does not help resolve the issue you can escalate your complaint to the Utilities Disputes Ltd.