Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparations

COVID-19 banner

As an employer delivering critical services to communities across NSW and parts of southern Queensland, our response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is focussing on:

  • protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, the community, our contractors and suppliers and their families
  • minimising the risk of our workplace being a potential source of infection into the broader community
  • maintaining the safety and reliability of the electricity network.

Essential Energy crews will continue to respond to fault and emergency work.

Some planned outages for network maintenance will be delayed as we balance the need for social distancing with the need to maintain a safe and reliable power supply. These include:

Field operations:

  • Reviewing all planned work between 17 March and 17 April 2020 on a case-by-case basis to assess the risks for the community, staff and contractors. Additional controls such as site exclusion zones and extra protective clothing may be required, depending on the nature and location of the work. Some work will be delayed
  • Planned work being assessed includes: planned outages, vegetation management, streetlight upgrades, and asset inspections
  • Suspending all meter readings and disconnections for non-payment until further notice
  • Extending timeframes for customers to have defects on private assets rectified

Employees and site visitors:

  • Stopping the movement of employees between depots and offices and, where practical, within offices
  • Increasing the use of videoconferencing and telecommunications technologies to limit the number of face-to-face meetings
  • Supporting employees, particularly office-based staff, to work from home
  • Ensuring all employees who return from overseas self-isolate for 14 days
  • Ensuring all employees who develop flu-like symptoms do not come to work
  • Stopping all visits by external people (including contractors and consultants) to our sites, unless the visits are absolutely necessary and approval has been obtained
  • Suspending all deliveries to depots and offices and investigating options for non-contact delivery

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my power supply is interrupted during the COVID-19 situation?
Our crews remain available to respond to fault and emergency work. Report an outage or call 132080. View all current outages and read our helpful hints and tips for what to do during an outage.

I am self-isolating and there is a planned power outage in my area – can the outage be delayed?
If you are self-isolating and will be affected by a planned outage, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 132080 to discuss your situation. We are assessing risks for planned work on a case-by-case basis and implementing additional controls or delaying work.

Why are Essential Energy crews still working in the community?
We are working to balance the need for social distancing with the need to maintain a safe and reliable power supply. Our crews remain available to respond to fault and emergency work. We are assessing risks for planned work on a case-by-case basis and implementing additional controls or delaying work.

Watch this short video from Energy Networks Australia to learn more about why it’s important for electricity network companies to keeping working to keep the network safe and reliable during the COVID-19 crisis.

I am a Life Support customer – what does this mean for me?
Our obligations in relation to Life Support customers have not changed. See our information for Life Support customers.

I lost my income and can’t pay my bill. What can I do?
Essential Energy recognises that there are members of the community who experience financial stress – we also recognise that electricity is an essential service. Our Customer Policy seeks to minimise disconnections from the network and protect public safety. See our Customer Support Policy page for more information. We also encourage you to contact your energy retailer to discuss your circumstances with them.

Will meter readers still visit my house or business?
To ensure the safety of our employees, contractors and the community, we have suspended meter reading and disconnections for non-payment, reducing the need for meter-reading staff to visit customer premises. Energy bills will be estimated in accordance with your retailer’s procedures. For further information, please contact your retailer.

Can I visit Essential Energy depots, offices and worksites?
No. All Essential Energy depots, offices and worksites are currently closed to external visitors. If you believe you have an urgent need to attend an Essential Energy site, please contact us on 132391 to seek approval.

What if my streetlights go out during the coronavirus situation?
Report faulty streetlights as normal, or call 132080.

What if I notice trees or bushes growing too close to the electricity network during the coronavirus situation?
Report vegetation near powerlines as normal, or call 132080.

More information