Risks rise as waters fall

25 March 2021

As floodwaters begin to recede, Essential Energy reminds people to be extremely careful when entering houses, businesses and other premises that have been affected by floodwaters.

Mid North Coast Operations Manager Mathew Reedy said, “We absolutely understand that people are keen to get back and start their clean-up and recovery process. Our teams are on the ground as soon as they can get access throughout the Mid North Coast to help with this by restoring power.”

“We don’t want people to assume it’s safe to go back without taking care of these important aspects first. There remains a very real risk of suffering a serious or fatal electric shock, even if your power is still disconnected.”

“Sometimes we have to turn people’s power off, even if they weren't affected or if it's already been restored, to keep our community and our employees safe while we continue crucial restoration and maintenance. We understand how frustrating this can be and want to thank customers for the respect they’re showing to our hardworking crew.”

The electricity distribution company offered these tips to help the community safely access premise after floods.

If your home, business or other properties have been flooded with water, make sure your power is still disconnected before entering by calling Essential Energy on 132080.

Do not plug in or use any appliances that have been in the flood water until they have been checked by a licenced electrician.

Solar panels or Photovoltaic Arrays (PV Arrays) can still generate an electricity regardless of whether or not the electricity has been turned off. If you are unsure about the state of a solar panel installation, contact the solar panel installer or a licensed electrician before turning the equipment on.

Use generators carefully, visit www.essentialenergy.com.au/safety for a generator Safety Fact Sheet with detailed advice.

“We also want customers to know that we may have disconnected their property if it is deemed electrically unsafe. In these circumstances, customers will need to arrange for a qualified electrician to visually inspect and test their electrical installation supply and for an Authorised Level 2 Service Provider (ASP) to reconnect their supply. Their electrician may also be an ASP that is authorised to restore power supply if safe to do so immediately following testing. If customers are unable to access an ASP to reconnect supply following safety testing, we are asking them to call us on 132080. All the details of this process are available at www.essentialenergy.com.au/floods” he said.

Essential Energy will reimburse customers up to $350 who use an ASP to cover the cost of safe reconnection. This reimbursement does not cover costs relating to the safety inspection or repair of damage to a customer’s own electrical equipment.

“I want to assure customers that this process is in place solely to help keep our community safe,” continued Mr Reedy.

“Many of our own people live across the Mid-North Coast and are themselves been affected by floods, so our people understand what customers are going through and are here to support them.”

Media contact: Rachel Hussell, Head of Communications
M: 0408 278 275