Electricity distributor United Energy is continuing to deliver safe and reliable power to more than 685,000 homes and businesses as the COVID-19 situation escalates.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Rourke said everyone in the business is committed to maintaining reliable electricity supplies to help customers through the current daily challenges and uncertainty.
“Our full resources are available to support customers,” Mr Rourke said.
“Everything we do on the network is designed to deliver high levels of reliability and ensure the safety of the communities we service.”
Mr Rourke said all offices and depots remain open for business and all available field crews and resource partners are scheduled for work.
“The health and safety of our people and the communities we service is our greatest concern,” he said.
“The priority is to address faults and critical maintenance which can otherwise threaten the safety of customers. Localised planned power outages may be required to enable these works to be conducted safely.
“We ask that you respect our crews as they work to keep the lights on now and prevent the risk of major disruptions later.”
Mr Rourke said all planned work is being reviewed to ensure the impact on households and businesses is minimised.
“No-one knows how long the current conditions will be enforced so it is important that we make sure our network is robust now and for the long term.”
Our work is performed by a team of 200 highly-skilled professionals and an outsourced team of qualified tradespeople and customer service agents committed to providing quality services and supporting customers. The network delivers electricity to customers with greater than 99.9% reliability which on average means customers may experience outages of 44 minutes.
While operations have been prioritised around faults and maintenance, the networks are also continuing to deliver a capital works program as well as electrical services to support major infrastructure and construction that are providing vital employment and economic benefits at this time.
United Energy customers are advised that:
- All contact centre operations remain fully operational:
- United Energy: 1300 131 689 for general enquiries or 13 20 99 for service difficulties and faults
- Our approved contractors that work on the United Energy network will have self-branded uniforms and carry photo ID labelled as a UE Authorised Contractor.
- Notifications of any planned outages for work essential for sustaining reliability and network safety will continue to be provided well in advance of works starting.
- Information on how to prepare for planned outages and protect food safety is available on our website or the Vic Government website.
Inspecting all supplies to hospitals to reduce the chance of unplanned outages.
Prioritising works around maintaining supplies to critical infrastructure (hospitals, COVID testing facilities, Aged care facilities.)
In addition to following the government’s advice on gatherings and hygiene, we are preventing our people from being affected through initiatives such as:
- staggering crew starting times and resource use within depots
- segregating critical teams across multiple locations
- restricting movements between offices and depots
- enabling our people to work from home when it is viable to do so
- providing new protocols for our people who work within the community and with customers who may be in self-isolation.