As NSW adjusts to the impact of COVID-19, regional electricity distributor Essential Energy is asking for the community’s understanding to help complete critical maintenance work to ensure a safe and reliable power supply for customers.
Essential Energy CEO John Cleland said “We understand that many of our customers are at home and that power outages at this time can be really inconvenient.
“Essential Energy is reviewing every task to minimise the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring critical work to maintain the power supply continues. Some outages that are required to support the operation of critical infrastructure such as hospitals, nursing homes, telecommunications and NBN will go ahead.
“If we do not complete maintenance work, the risk of unplanned outages increases. It is critical that risks to supply are minimised, particularly to facilities involved in the response to COVID-19. We also need to connect new infrastructure to support people working from home,” said Mr Cleland.
“Where planned power outages do need to go ahead, we provide impacted households and businesses with a minimum of four business days’ notice,” he said. Mr Cleland also asked people to consider Essential Energy’s employees.
“Please remember our employees are working to provide safe and reliable electricity, as well as dealing with many of the additional pressures that others in the community are facing. We’d also like to remind the community that as an essential service, our employees are exempt from the limitation of no more than two people together at the one time.”
“We would like to reassure the community that our primary goal in our response to this COVID-19 crisis is to protect the health and wellbeing our community and our employees.”
Essential Energy has consulted with national and state health bodies, engaged the advice of a Chief Medical Officer, and with staff and unions to develop comprehensive rules for working together and with members of the public during this time.
Essential Energy is working with energy retailers to support customers through the COVID-19 pandemic, and customers who find themselves concerned about energy bills are encouraged to contact their energy retailer directly in the first instance.