Strategic works planning pays dividends for a safer electricity network

30 November 2023

The latest network safety report released by Essential Energy confirms the organisation’s ongoing focus on safety for its people and the community as it continuously strives to deliver reliability and affordability.

The Electricity Network Safety Management System (ENSMS) Performance and Bushfire Preparedness Report outlines how strategic planning has resulted in a significant reduction in the outstanding work tasks.

The volume of recovery work after the 2019/2020 bushfires and the Mid Coast and North Coast floods meant a large backlog of routine job across the network. Through the focused efforts of Essential Energy’s Field Operations team, the number of Category 3 tasks has dropped from just over 9500 in January 2023 to around 2300 by June 2023 and the organisation is ahead of its target in delivering a safer electricity network. On top of this, the team has worked through its Bushfire Risk Management Plan to complete the required and preventative vegetation management work ahead of the bushfire season.

The report covers the annual safety performance for the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 and the bushfire preparedness for the period 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023. It provides the outcomes of the ENSMS which aims to mitigate safety risks associated with the electricity network that Essential Energy is responsible for, which covers 95 per cent of NSW and provides power to more than 880,000 individual homes and businesses.

The report details incidents, asset and vegetation management activities, the number of inspections undertaken, and remedial tasks identified and completed. The report also provides information on how Essential Energy has prepared for the bushfire season and highlights the importance of public safety campaigns to promote local community safety around the network.

With a footprint that covers 737,000 square kilometres across regional NSW and parts of southern Queensland, the network overlaps with some of the highest risk bushfire zones in the State. Managing the risk of bushfires is another important part of keeping the network safe and reliable for the customers and communities served by Essential Energy.

A copy of the report is available on our website.

Workers changing a pole near a highway

Essential Energy field crew maintaining the electricity network during wet and boggy conditions.

Download a larger version of the above image (3000 x 2248 @239dpi)