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Essential Energy plea: don’t let the dogs out

As shelters and pet shops around the state empty with dog sales and adoptions surging in the wake of coronavirus lockdowns, Essential Energy is asking dog owners to help keep  workers safe by advising if they have any dogs that might pose a threat to our electricity meter readers.

Analysis by Essential Energy of the past three years has shown an increasing trend of incidents involving a dog, with 63% of dog attacks in the 2019 financial year causing an injury. The data also shows that these attacks tend to be more frequent at the beginning of Spring, with two dog attacks already occurring in September 2020. In one case, the victim required medical treatment for a bite.

“Everyone has the right to come home safe from their job,” said Luke Jenner, General Manager Customer and Network Services, “so we’re asking anyone who has a dog, if there’s a chance they may pose a threat or injure an Essential Energy employee or one of our contracting staff, to please let us know.”

If a potentially dangerous dog is on a property and safe unhindered access is not guaranteed, our meter reading contractors will avoid entering the property to ensure their own safety and the safety of the home or business owner. As a result, that property will receive a bill based on estimated electricity usage.

“Town locations make up nearly half of our potentially dangerous dog locations, however regardless of the location, we ask all dog owners to do the right thing and let us know if it is safer for our meter readers to avoid your property,” said Mr Jenner.

“Dog owners should also not assume that it’s only large dogs either, meter readers have experienced attacks by aggressive smaller breeds in the past as well.”

“Over a year, we visit properties in our footprint more than three million times to read meters. We want people to have accurate meter reads but we will not endanger our own people, our contractors or other people in the community,” he concluded.

Dog owners can visit www.essentialenergy.com.au/at-home/your-meter to find more information.

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