COVID-19


As an essential service provider, we are continuing to do what we can to support our customers within the COVID-19 environment.

Our full resources are available to sustain high electricity reliability while also minimising the impact of our works on customers.

We have also announced details of a relief package available for residential and small business customers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 situation.

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:

Critical works continuing

Since March 2020, we’ve seen a shift in how we mobilise crews to conduct critical works on our electricity infrastructure and this is minimising the impact on customers.

These works include:

  • 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
  • actions to sustain power quality and reliability for commercial and industrial customers
  • work under our bushfire management plan including asset inspections and replacements.

On a daily basis, localised power outages may be required to enable these works to be conducted safely.  We appreciate there is never a convenient time to have a power outage and understand that now more than ever, people are relying on the continuity of supplies to their home.

But after reviewing all our planned work, we are where possible, breaking work programs down into smaller packages with shorter duration outages or using generators or network transfers to provide back-up resources.

By doing critical maintenance now, we are reducing the risk of major disruptions caused by unplanned blackouts in the future.  We’re also ensuring we can sustain high levels of reliability to help customers through their daily challenges.

For further information, our contact centre remains fully operational:

  • General enquiries:                        1300 131 689
  • Service difficulties and faults:    132 099

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 potential 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: ueservicedesk@ue.com.au

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.

Now we are working in cooperation with energy retailers to administer a relief offer to make it as simple as possible for our customers.

Relief for residential customers

We are offering relief from network charges for customers experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions.

To be eligible, you will be a customer who since 1 March 2020, has received relevant government benefits or entered a payment plan or hardship arrangement with your energy retailer.

If you are eligible then:

  • contact your energy retailer and let them know you are experiencing financial hardship at this time and find out how they can help
  • have a copy of your most recent bill handy so you can quote your account details.

You’ll then automatically receive the relief through your energy retailer’s normal billing cycle. This could include either deferred payments or rebates (depending on your energy retailer) for network charges from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

Please also be reassured, we will not disconnect any residential customers who may be having financial difficulties without their agreement before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond.

Rebates for small business customers

If you own or operate a business that has been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions then you may be eligible for relief from network charges which are one of the costs itemised on your electricity bill.

Rebates for network charges incurred between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2020 are offered to businesses which:

  • were on a small business network tariff with their energy retailer as of 1 April 2020
  • consumed less than 40MWh in total over the 12 months to 1 April 2020
  • have used less than 25% of their historical average consumption between 1 April and 30 June.

If you are eligible for the rebate then:

  • contact your energy retailer and let them know you are experiencing financial hardship at this time
  • have a copy of your most recent bill handy so you can quote your account details.

Rebates will be processed in arrears of monthly invoicing. So that means you keep paying your electricity bills under the normal billing cycle but will see a rebate on subsequent bills received up to the end of September 2020.

Other ways we are supporting small business customers are by:

  • agreeing with energy retailers to not disconnect any small business customers who may be in financial stress without their agreement before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond
  • deferring referrals of customers to debt collection agencies for recovery actions, or credit default listing until at least 31 July 2020
  • waiving disconnection, reconnection and/or contract break fees for small businesses that have ceased operation, along with daily supply charges to retailers, during any period of disconnection until at least 31 July 2020.

In these ways, we aim to support businesses as they experience trading constraints as well as during the months when hopefully they’ll be getting back to business.

In the United Energy network region, we estimate there are more than 50,000 small businesses that are potentially eligible for the rebate offered.

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.

We are still open for business and customers can get in touch with us via our Contact Centre at the numbers below or via ueservicedesk@ue.com.au

  • General enquiries:                        1300 131 689
  • Service difficulties and faults:    132 099

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.

Thank you for your patience.