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Ergon Energy ready to respond 24/7 in extreme weather conditions

Published: 26 Nov 2018 4:16pm

As Queenslanders do their best to beat the heat, Ergon Energy is reassuring customers a dedicated team is monitoring the network and ready to respond to power outages around the clock.

Network Operations Manager Matt Rigano said control centres in Townsville and Rockhampton operated 24/7, 365 days a year to deliver a safe and reliable electricity supply.

“We have a vast network of poles and wires across the state, so it helps to be able to monitor and control it remotely.

“Protection systems built in to the electricity network trigger alarms when faults are detected, like lightning strikes or accidental contacts from vehicles, wildlife or vegetation.

“We receive roughly five million alarms a year, which keeps everyone on their toes,” Mr Rigano said.

While Ergon’s network is resilient and designed to cope with increased demand during hot weather, summer is a particularly busy time for the team as storms, cyclones and floods increase the risk of power outages and network damage requiring emergency repairs.

Area Manager for Herbert Wayne Alderman said field crews were ready to respond at any time.

“The crews work closely with the control room to get the power back on to customers more efficiently while keeping everyone safe.

“The information they exchange helps to pinpoint the cause of outages and any damage more quickly, so they can repair the network and restore power promptly.

“We appreciate customers’ patience when outages occur in hot weather and reassure them our crews will be out there working to restore power as soon as possible, and safely.

“We also take steps to ensure our crews are working safely in the heat,” Mr Alderman said.

Behind the scenes, there’s another team that operates around the clock and plays a key role in keeping the community safe.

The 24/7 Faults Team gathers critical information from customers when they call to report faults or life-threatening emergencies, like fallen powerlines or electric shocks.

Manager Customer Operations Cloe Kernick said faults officers provided callers with important safety advice and kept first responders informed with any relevant details.

“Customers can contact us at any time of the day or night by calling 13 22 96, where they can talk to one of the team about a particular fault or listen to recorded messages about outages in their area.

“In life-threatening emergencies customers should call Triple Zero (000) or 13 16 70,” she said.

During Ergon Energy’s response to Tropical Cyclone Debbie the team handled close to 81,000 calls from the impact zone.

“Extreme weather conditions and major outages can cause telephone lines to be congested and we really appreciate everyone’s patience in these circumstances.

“The Outage Finder on Ergon Energy's website (www.ergon.com.au) is a useful tool for customers who are looking for information on a specific outage, but do not need to report a specific fault,” Ms Kernick.

Customers will also find energy efficiency tips on Ergon's website:

  • While there’s capacity in the network if people want to use their air-conditioners, the most efficient temperature to run them at is 25 degrees.
  • Between 30%-40% of network peak load can be attributed to air-conditioning use.
  • At the start of summer we encourage people to check their air-con filters are clean because a dirty filter can make the appliance work much harder than it should.
  • Use your clothes line instead of your dryer.
  • Run the dishwasher outside of the peak demand hours of 4pm to 8pm.
  • Consider cooking on the gas BBQ outside instead of an electric stove.

Media Contact: Emma Oliveri
Phone: 0457 566 079