Safe entry to your premises

Occasionally, we may need to enter your home or business premises to maintain our energy network or read your meter. To help our field staff, please make sure your home or business is safe.

Unfortunately, if we can’t access your property safely, we might not be able to complete our work. This includes being able to visibly sight your dog to make sure you’ve ‘suitably restrained’ it (see below).

How to make your property safe

When you know we’re coming, there are a few steps you can take before we arrive so we can do our job quickly and safely.

You can help us by:

  • registering your dog with us
  • keeping your dogs ‘suitably restrained’ (see below)
  • telling us about any special access to your land or our equipment
  • updating your site access account/premises details with your electricity retailer
  • providing safe and clear access to our equipment by making sure:
    • any locks you use to secure your gate or other property access point are authorised by us (see Ergon locks below)
    • your meter is clear of vegetation, insects, vehicles and other equipment
    • you arrange to have your meter box moved if it has become inaccessible.

For more information on our safe entry practices, call us on 13 74 66.

How to make sure your dog is visibly ‘suitably restrained’

Even if your dog is a ‘very good doggy’, unrestrained dogs are always a hazard for our field staff. They can cause bites, injuries and also create distractions while workers are carrying out sensitive electrical work. So, you’ll need to make sure your dog can be visibly sighted as restrained when we visit your property.

You can do this by:

  • placing them in a yard or area that’s completely separated from where we will be working (e.g. locked behind a fence where they can be visibly sighted as restrained)
  • isolating them using a substantial rope or chain, well secured to an anchor point on the ground or fixed fitting.

Please note that holding the dog by the collar, by hand or in your arms is not a ‘suitable restraint’.

Under our safe entry practices, our field workers won’t be able to enter your premises unless they can visibly sight your dog to make sure you’ve 'suitably restrained' it.

Don’t forget to check your dog has access to water, food and shade while they’re restrained.

How to register your dog with us

To register your dog with us, simply sign up to our Customer Self Service and then login and update your dog details. You’ll find step by step instructions on the Meter-read alerts for dog owners page. You can also register to receive SMS and/or email alerts 24 hours before your meter is due to be read. That way, you can ensure your dog is suitably restrained when the meter reader arrives.

How much notice will you give me?

We’ll do our best to let you know when we’re planning to visit your property. However, the amount of notice we can give will depend on the type of work we need to do.

How to get meter read notices and alerts

You can find your next scheduled read date on your electricity bill. We’ll be there to read your meters within two business days before or after the date listed. For more accurate meter read updates, you can check your latest scheduled meter read date.

If you own a dog, you can sign up for our meter-read alerts for dog owners. Then, we’ll be able to send you an SMS and/or email notification 24 hours before we come.

If we are unable to read your meter, we’ll leave a notice card with instructions on what to do next. You’ll be able to submit a self meter read via our Customer Self Service or by calling us on 13 74 66.

Notice for other work

In many other cases, we won’t be able to give you notice ahead of our visit. This includes for network inspections and emergency works.

However, there’s no cause for concern. If we can’t access your property, we’ll leave a notice card. This card will tell you who you should call to make further arrangements, us or your electricity retailer.

Why we might enter your property

To keep you connected to a strong, uninterrupted power supply, we might need to enter your premises from time to time. This could be to:

  • inspect or read electricity meters
  • identify the location and cause of a fault, and repair it (during power outages)
  • complete maintenance or upgrade works on our equipment located on or near your land
  • inspect our poles, overhead or underground powerlines, transformers or other electrical equipment located on your land
  • check or clear vegetation from around powerlines on or near your premises
  • assess the need for possible future network infrastructure, with prior consent
  • to complete work requested by your electrical contractor or electricity retailer.

IMPORTANT: Although we have legal permission to enter private property to complete most of these tasks, you have the right to confirm our workers’ identities. Simply ask to see their Ergon ID.

Use an Ergon lock for security and access

Using an authorised Ergon Energy lock will keep your property secure while providing easy access for our field staff. These specially-tooled locks can be opened by your meter reader using their master key.

Order your Ergon lock from Queensland Locksmiths, our approved Ergon lock supplier.

Safe entry to your premises FAQs

How do you decide if my home or business is safe to enter?

Before they enter, our field staff will perform a risk assessment of your premises.

Your premises will be determined safe to enter if:

  • there's no dog, or
  • all dog/s on site are securely isolated from where our work is needed.

Your premises will be determined not safe to enter if our field staff observe:

  • one or more unrestrained dog/s on site, or
  • evidence of a dog where they can't confirm if it’s ‘suitably restrained’ away from where our work is needed.

What should I do if you weren’t able to enter?

If they can’t enter your property, our crew will leave behind a notice card. This may ask you to call us on 13 74 66, or to get in touch with your electricity retailer.

Will your staff untie my dog when they leave? She’s friendly!

Unfortunately not. This would be against our safe entry practices.

Can I leave my dog unrestrained for security reasons?

We can’t allow our field workers to enter your premises if your dog is unrestrained. As an employer, it’s our obligation to make sure our field staff and contractors are safe at work.

If this means we can’t access your meter safely, we'll automatically generate an estimated read for your electricity retailer.

In this case, we’ll leave a notice card with instructions on what to do next. You’ll be able to submit a self meter read via our Customer Self Service or by calling us on 13 74 66.

You might also need to ask your electricity retailer to adjust your bill based on your self-read.

Are puppies and small dogs included in the restrictions of the safe entry practices?

Yes. All unrestrained dogs are included in our safe entry procedures, regardless of size or age.

How do the safe entry practices affect my assistance dog (e.g. guide dog)?

Our field staff might not be able to tell the difference between an assistance dog and a pet dog if they are roaming free in your yard.

If your assistance dog is unrestrained in the yard with no visible assistance gear/uniform, our field staff won't be able enter your premises as per our safe entry practices.

To help, make sure your assistance dog is wearing official assistance gear/uniform or is visibly an aid dog. This way, our field staff will be able enter your premises, once they’ve conducted a risk assessment.

What if my dog is restrained indoors/out the back securely and the crew considers that they “can't confirm the dog is restrained”?

Unfortunately, our field staff can only be sure that your dog is restrained by visibly sighting them. If you’ll be restraining your dog out of sight, let your electricity retailer know so they can update your account with the access information for your premises.

What if the dog barking is from my neighbour’s yard?

We’ll do our best to work out if the dog is in your yard using visual clues such as water/food bowls, toys, bones or kennels. However, if we can't be certain, we won’t be able to enter.

What about emergency work? Are you still unable to enter my premises if there’s an unrestrained dog?

Emergency work carries a higher priority than customer requested jobs and meter reads. If we’re on site to do emergency work, we’ll conduct a more detailed risk assessment and do our best to enter your premises safely.

If your meter reader doesn't visit on my next scheduled read date, will I receive compensation if I had to leave work to restrain my dog?

No. We always give a window of time of two business days before and after the scheduled read date on your power bill. This gives us room to reprioritise in case of emergency works or unforeseen events, like bad weather.

If we are unable to read your meter, we’ll leave a notice card with instructions on what to do next. You’ll be able to submit a self meter read via our Customer Self Service or by calling us on 13 74 66.

Do I need to provide my National Meter Identifier (NMI) to give you a self-read of my meter?

No, an NMI is not compulsory to submit a self meter read. However, you must be able to pass privacy checks for your premises.

How do I read my meters?

There is a guide on our website on how to read your meter.

Why don’t you just install remotely read meters?

Due to the Power of Choice industry reform on 1 December 2017, electricity distributors like us are no longer able to install new metering. This includes remotely read or “comms/smart/digital” meters. You'll need to discuss installation with your electricity retailer directly.

I live in a rural location and have a long driveway; will my meter still be read?

Under our safe entry practices, your meter reader can enter your property and drive up to your house. However, if they arrive at your house and can see an unrestrained dog, they won't be able to leave their vehicle to complete their reading. They'll do their best to leave a “no access” card on site, which will give you instructions on what to do next.

Need more information?

Please call us on 13 74 66 if you'd like more information on our safe entry practices.