10 March 2022
Essential Energy is urging customers to follow a three-step process to get their power back on if their property has been disconnected due to flooding.
Brendon Neyland, Essential Energy Head of Operations, said “Our local teams have been on the ground since the flooding commenced ten days ago and it was only a day or two before crews from across the state started to arrive. Our biggest focus is on helping customers get their power back on, safely.
“We’re strategically targeting our teams, which include specialist underground and substation technicians and highly capable powerline workers, to repair and in many cases rebuild our electricity network. We’re particularly focused on repairing and restoring power to large electricity infrastructure where we can make power available to many customers at once.
“We’ve also got more agile crews dispatched and working with those smaller communities and sometimes Council and emergency organisations to get power back where road access for our larger fleet is impossible”.
Across the affected areas as at 10am Thursday, there were 1,628 customers without power to their premises. Additionally, 3,725 customers have had their power disconnected for safety and need to follow our three-step reconnection process.
“In many cases, before we can turn all the power back on across the network, we need to ensure power is disconnected to flood damaged properties,” Brendon said.
“Customers will need to arrange for either a licensed electrician or Level 2 Authorised Service Provider (ASP) to inspect their premises. The electrician will then log a certificate with us and give the customer a reference number.
“Customers then need to call us on 132080 with the reference number so we can arrange to have the power restored.”
“Our crews have been amazed by the positivity and support they receive from most of the communities and the resilience and understanding people are demonstrating. We really want to reiterate that we are here, working hard and will get the power back,” Mr Neyland continued.
As well as working to restore power quickly and safely, the organisation has introduced a range of support measures for flood-affected customers, including:
- Waiving the network access charges for customers between 28 February and 31 March 20022
- Pausing estimated meter reading for uninhabitable houses and buildings
- Pausing any disconnection for non-payment in flood affected areas while the Natural Disaster continues
- Reimbursement of up to $350 for the costs charged by an ASP to a customer to disconnect and reconnect a property due to flood damage (note this excludes reimbursement for the cost for repairs or inspections)
- Pausing of customer communications for Private Asset defects in flood affected areas
- Repairing or replacing any private assets which have been damaged or destroyed by flooding on a like-for-like basis at our cost
- Waiving the Certificate Compliance of Electrical Works (CCEW) cost for ASPs for flood affected post codes
- Providing customer service support, on the ground, face-to-face, once safe to do so
- Increasing staffing levels across our contact centre to customers calling in with queries
- Calling all life support customers in current outages to do a welfare check
- Contributing $600 towards supporting customers in the cost to re-connect to our network (e.g. if their house is total loss) for flood impacted customers within our network for a period of two years.