Yes, there is enough capacity on the network to support the changes in working and living arrangements of Victorians. We’re constantly monitoring the network to make sure that there is enough energy for all of our customers.
Energy use by residential customers has increased during the pandemic, however a reduction in energy requirements for business customers has helped to balance that out and the network remains safe and reliable for everyone.
We’ll continue to monitor any changes in demand and capacity related issues, but we don’t anticipate any issues for our customers.
Planned power and gas outages are an important part of maintaining the network so that we can continue to deliver reliable power and gas to you. When lockdown restrictions are in place, we sometimes need to go ahead with some outages to carry out critical maintenance - the work that is necessary to keep the network reliable, ensure customer safety or for bushfire mitigation. We know that electricity and gas outages aren’t convenient, so we work hard to reduce the length of outages and minimise the impact on you.
As government restrictions change, we assess our planned outages to identify what is critical and what can be deferred to another time.
We’ll notify you by mail before any planned outages so that you can prepare for the duration of the power outage, and then we’ll send you an SMS or letter drop reminder closer to the time. You can also check our outage tracker for information on upcoming power outages in your area, including the status and durations of outages.
We’re prepared and ready if the situation escalates further, but we also encourage you to prepare and continue to look after yourselves, your families and friends, and neighbours. Please make sure your mobile devices including phones and laptops are charged so you can continue to access up to date information from our website.
We’ve prioritised all work that will make supply reliable for essential services such as hospitals, medical centres, factories manufacturing medical products such as face masks and hand sanitiser, supermarkets and other community services.
We work with the government and other agencies to understand which businesses are providing critical services to the COVID-19 response. We will use this information as part of our maintenance planning to minimise disruption to any critical businesses. If a planned outage is impacting a key business, we will review this work on a case by case basis.
If you are currently providing critical services and have an upcoming planned outage, please contact us at email@example.com.
We're communicating regularly with our teams as the situation with COVID-19 develops, and government advice is updated. The safety and wellbeing of our people is important to us.
We communicate regularly with our teams as the situation with COVID-19 develops, and government advice is updated. The safety and wellbeing of our people is important to us.
Some of the steps we've taken so far, and continue to evolve, across our workplaces include:
Our field team are out continuing their daily role in maintaining your gas and electricity network and fixing any faults as normal. Some of our work requires visits to customer homes and businesses. We’ll only request access to a customer’s property if it is absolutely necessary in order to ensure your safety or the continuity of a safe gas or electricity supply.
It’s important that our field team are allowed access to customer’s properties so that we can continue our critical work. We’ll take every precaution to keep customers safe during our work and our people will follow all government health and safety advice.
We’re working closely with government and public health bodies to make sure we work safely and in line with expert advice. If our field team need to enter your home or business to restore your power or gas, we’ll ask you some questions first to understand if you’ve recently returned from overseas or are self-isolating so we can make the relevant arrangements to prepare.
Our field teams have been fully briefed on specific protocols to follow when working on a customer premises. They will be wearing protective equipment, following strict hygiene rules, practicing social distancing of two meters where possible and avoiding contact with any surfaces.
Along with other Australian energy network businesses, AusNet Services has announced a relief package to ease the burden on gas and electricity customers in hardship as a result of COVID-19. If you’re experiencing financial hardship during this period, contact your retailer who will check whether you meet the hardship program eligibility criteria and provide instructions for making a claim for relief. If you meet the eligibility criteria, your energy retailer will provide information on how you will receive the network relief benefit.