Our full resources are available to sustain high electricity reliability while also minimising the impact of our works on customers.
As a result, we are ready to support our customers and communities in any relaxation of conditions and economic recovery.
More information on our response is provided here:
31 August 2021
Essential work continuing
We’ve had some questions about why we are continuing to conduct planned outages during Victoria’s lockdown due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
We understand many of our customers are working or studying from home. In response, we’re reviewing outages and where we can, we’ll look at rescheduling work or minimising the size and length of the outages.
Planned maintenance is an essential part of how we manage our network. Planned outages allow our crews to safely maintain the electricity network so we can keep delivering reliable power to homes and businesses.
Since March last year, parts of Victoria have experienced more than 200 days of lockdowns. Cancelling or rescheduling work for such a long period would increase the risk of unplanned power outages for homes and businesses as well as potentially serious community safety concerns, particularly in relation to the annual bushfire season.
As an essential service provider, we must continue:
- addressing faults and urgent maintenance which can otherwise threaten the safety of customers
- providing electrical services supporting infrastructure and construction projects which are sustaining vital jobs and economic benefits at this time
- undertaking activities to sustain power quality and reliability for commercial and industrial customers
- delivering against under our bushfire management plan, including asset inspections and replacements in high bushfire risk areas.
- Cutting vegetation growing close to powerlines that can impact reliability and safety.
As the hotter summer months are approaching, our work inspecting and maintaining our network is even more critical and highlights why we must continue with this work.
For those who may be impacted by planned outages, we have developed some tips on how to prepare for a planned power outage.
The Victorian Government has issued advice to customers about what they can do during a power outage if it impacts a person’s health or safety. This advice is available at What to do in an emergency | Coronavirus Victoria
For further information, our contact centre remains fully operational:
- General enquiries: 1300 131 689
- Service difficulties and faults: 13 20 99
Please respect our crews as they work to keep the lights on now and prevent the risk of major disruptions later.
Protecting the health and safety of our people and communities
Our full resources are available to support our customers. Please be assured:
- Our field teams will be following social distancing practices as they work in your community and as a crew, have taken precautions so they can safely work together.
- Please be assured that if our contractors need to come to your door, then they will be wearing Zinfra branded clothing and will have a photo ID with the Zinfra brand and UE Authorised Contractor.
- Our other contractors who do work on our network, near or on your property, will have photo ID carry photo ID labelled with UE Authorised Contractor.
- You will see new calling cards left in letterboxes when we are working in your area
- Notifications of any necessary power outages will include details on how we are working to ensure the safety of our people and communities.
- We will keep you advised by follow up SMS about plans for the work in your area.
We have released advice for customers on both how to prepare for power outages and the Victorian Government has issued advice on food safety.
If we need to work on your property, please advise if anyone in your household is self-isolated due to COVID-19, so our crews can take appropriate precautions for their own safety.
If you are a customer who relies on electricity to provide vital health support, then please ensure your contact details are updated with our Customer team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We keep records of anyone reliant on life support systems to ensure we do not physically disconnect their power supply. We will also let them know of any necessary planned outages so that they can be prepared with a back-up plan.
Financial relief for residential and small business customers
We are supporting homes and small businesses impacted financially by COVID-19 by providing relief from network charges on their electricity bills.
There are two types of charges on your electricity bill.
- A supply charge is a fixed daily cost for bringing electricity to your home or business. This includes our costs for operating and maintaining the poles and wires and meters that make up the electricity distribution network.
- A consumption charge which is measured in kilowatt hours and varies depending on how much electricity you use and what tariff you are on, like off-peak, peak or fixed.
Because distribution networks like us manage your electricity meter, we provide the energy retailers (the company who sends your electricity bill) with the data on your consumption for billing purposes.
Please also be assured we are continuing to support retailers to not disconnect customers and prioritise the health and safety of customers.
Guidance for visitors to our offices and depots
Due to the Federal Government’s restrictions around public gatherings and when people should leave their homes, we have closed all receptions and front counters across our depots until further notice.
If you need to visit anyone at our offices, please contact them by phone to meet you outside reception. Please ensure appropriate social distancing measures are used throughout your meeting.