Managing the network

With teams operating 24/7 and every day of the year, our Network Control Centre manages the flow of electricity and daily performance and security of our network.

Operating behind multiple screens capturing high technology signals from across our network, the control centre guides our crews on the ground to act or restore power safely an quickly.

Each year, thousands of jobs are managed by this team to mobile crews where needed to fix faults on the network or to conduct routine repair and maintenance jobs. These include:

  • Work to complete network upgrades to provide increased power to communities with improved reliability
  • Customer requested projects like new connections to homes or buildings
  • Connecting new traffic lights
  • Work to decommission lines and power new ones including underground cables
  • Preparing our networks for high peak demand and bushfire risks over summer.

Our control centre works closely with our Contact Centre which fields phone calls from customers. They coordinate the work performed by crews located in 3 depots around our region.

Safety systems in place

United Energy is one of the country’s most reliable electricity distribution companies but we cannot control the weather or many other factors that can affect our equipment. The reality is though, our planning for emergencies starts well before they hit.

Our team works year round to keep the network safe and reliable, but there will still be times when something out of the ordinary, such as a car hitting a pole, or a tree branch or wildlife coming into contact with a powerline, affects our equipment.

When that happens, there are safety systems built into the network to detect this and shut down power quickly to protect the community and our infrastructure.

These devices range from small fuses to larger devices and specialist bushfire mitigation technology strategically located across our network.

They also shut down power to fallen lines. However, if you do see a fallen line, always assume it’s live. This includes keeping clear of trees and anything which is in contact with fallen powerlines.

Stay well away from any fallen lines and report it directly to us on: 13 20 99

The safety devices send signals back to our network control room, providing information on what’s happening on our infrastructure and allowing them to mobilise teams where they are needed.

Storm season

While most people associate the summer season with extreme weather events, the reality is they can happen all year round. To be ready at any time, we:

  • Track the weather constantly to be alert to heat, high winds, storms and lightening activity.
  • Keep in touch with emergency services responsible for declaring either Total Fire Ban days or Heat Health Alerts. In particular, we watch for any fire activity near or affecting our assets.
  • Get our people and resources ready days in advance if one of these events is declared by:
    • Reviewing all planned work to either cancel it or bring it forward to finish before midday
    • Making sure additional standby crews are available for both field work and the customer service call centre so they are fresh for work when needed
    • Ensuring all maintenance items are up to date and our safety systems are fully functional.

Estimated Time of Restoration

Our lineys are out in all weather conditions working to restore power to all customers as quickly as safely possible. Restoration work is prioritised based on risks to the community.  So our control centre will send crews to attend faults first when there is a specific safety reason or a large number of customers affected.

We know being without power is difficult and we thank you for your patience in these events.  We will keep you updated on restoration times via our website, SMS and through our call centre.