Maintaining customer services through covid-19

Our response to COVID-19 prioritises keeping people safe, keeping the lights on and helping people facing hardship through a time of great uncertainty.

Help for customers in hardship

The NSW electricity sector has come together to help keep your power going and support people and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Your electricity retailer, with the backing of Endeavour Energy, can help provide assistance tailored to your needs including:

  • the flexibility to spread the cost of your power bill over an extended period or defer payment to an agreed date
  • providing a guarantee that your lights will stay on until you get back on your feet
  • waiving the usual fees for late payment and reconnection
  • waiving the usual fees for late payment and reconnection
  • letting you know about discounts and government rebates. For example, if you’re accessing JobSeeker, you may be eligible for concessions on your power bill.

The new measures to support customers in COVID-19 hardship are different depending on several factors.

  1. For residential customers of AGL, EnergyAustralia, Lumo Energy, Origin Energy, Red Energy, ERM Power, Momentum and Simply Energy the NSW networks assistance package provides for a potential deferral of your network charges if you are on a payment plan or hardship arrangement due to COVID-19.
  2. Residential customers of all other retailers may be eligible for deferral of 20% of all network charges until the end of September. Residential customers of small retailers may also receive an immediate rebate for their network charges if they cannot pay their electricity bill due to the impact of COVID-19.
  3. Small Business Customers of all retailers may be eligible for an immediate rebate if unable to pay their electricity bills due to COVID-19.
  4. Further details on this assistance package can be found for small retailers and large retailers here.

Frequently asked questions

1. I can’t pay my bill due to the impact of COVID-19. What can I do?

Please contact your electricity retailer to discuss the support available to help you stay connected and manage your electricity bill. The NSW electricity sector has come together to help keep your power going and support people and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Your electricity retailer, with the backing of Endeavour Energy, can help tailored to your needs.

2. Will there be an increase in network charges as a result of COVID-19?

No. Endeavour Energy charges make up about 30% of your power bill. The Australian Energy Regulator as approved our network charges from 1 July 2020 which lock in seven consecutive years of price adjustments held to no more than inflation. We will continue to work hard so our customers can continue to receive real network price reductions over the long term, which are already the lowest in NSW and amongst the lowest per unit in the National Electricity Market.

3. Will COVID-19 impact my electricity supply?

We have robust plans to maintain your electricity supply and do not foresee any issues meeting your power needs due to COVID-19. Our workers are continuing to safely restore supply after faults and emergencies as well as undertaking other critical maintenance.

4. I am a life support customer – what does this mean for me?

Our obligations in relation to life support customers have not changed. See here for further information.

5. Why is my power being interrupted for maintenance during COVID-19?

With winter approaching, and people working from home, we’re making sure your power is there when you need it the most. Critical maintenance is an essential part of maintaining safe and reliable power to homes and businesses.

We have re-assessed all work where interruptions are needed in light of COVID-19 so that only those critical are proceeding. Where critical maintenance is necessary, we are minimising the duration and frequency of interruptions wherever possible.

6. Can I still call if I have a problem with my power supply?

Absolutely. You can report electrical hazards and check estimated restoration times by:

  • calling 131 003 to report life-threatening emergencies such as fallen powerlines
  • contacting us on Facebook
  • logging outages at www.endeavourenergy.com.au/powerupdates
  • entering your suburb into our outage app at www.endeavourenergy.com.au/outages
  • downloading the free Endeavour Energy outage app to their mobile phone or tablet from either the App Store or Google Play store.

Alternatively, please contact our Customer Service team on 133 718 from 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

7. What is Endeavour Energy doing to keep customers safe from COVID-19?

We are following expert health advice of the Australian and NSW governments, NSW Health and the World Health Organisation.

  • We are practicing social distancing to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
  • The services we provide typically do not require workers to enter your home or business.
  • We are using increased infection control in line with health advice to keep you and workers safe.

8. There is a planned outage at my place soon, but I have stored a lot of food in my fridge and freezer because of the virus. Will it go off?

The NSW Food Authority advises that food can last in an unopened fridge without power for up to four hours, and frozen foods can often last a day or more. We would encourage you to proactively preserve your food by considering freezing it or, storing it elsewhere.

9. What else should I do to prepare for a planned outage?

Please see here for helpful information to reduce impacts during critical maintenance works.

10. Does Endeavour Energy have enough staff to respond to emergency outages?

Yes. Our operations are not affected. As a precautionary measure, we have put in place rotating rosters for workers who deliver critical customer services to reduce the risk of infection if a team member is exposed to COVID-19.

If COVID-19 has a significant impact on workers in a particular region, crews from surrounding locations will step in just as they do now, such as when extra support is needed to restore power supply after storms or bushfires.

11. If I report a fault and someone at the property is self-isolating or quarantined or has been in contact with anyone who has a confirmed coronavirus will your crews still come?

We are asking you to help keep our crews safe by following a few simple precautions:
When reporting faults, please notify us if anyone at the property is self-isolating or quarantined or has been in contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.

When you either call us or report power outages online, please let us know if there are any infections in the household.

This does not mean we will not attend to your case, but it helps our crews take additional precautions.

Keeping people safe

Like everyone else, we’re keeping our distance and working differently to how we conducted our operations before the pandemic. Some of the steps we have taken to keep people safe include:

  • strict isolation protocols and separate work locations, backups and rostering in critical service areas that sustain the services we provide customers
  • extra precautions for crews in the field to maintain social distancing and increase exclusion zones around our work sites
  • closed our sites to all visitors except for deliveries from essential suppliers
  • limits on face-to-face interactions between workers wherever possible
  • additional cleaning of our sites, workplaces and vehicles
  • extra personal hygiene protocols and protective equipment for our workers and contractors.

Our plans and operational practices continue to be regularly reviewed and updated as the response to the pandemic evolves.

Keeping the lights on

As an essential service provider to over one million homes and businesses, we’re working hard to keep people and the community safe while keeping your lights on and businesses running.

Endeavour Energy is well versed in emergency management and has robust plans to maintain your essential power supply while also keeping people safe.

We continue to follow the advice from government and medical experts to shape how we manage our operations and safely deliver services to customers and communities throughout this pandemic.

Minimising the disruption of electricity supply for customers is of paramount importance.

With winter approaching, and many more people working from home, we’re making sure your power is there when you need it the most.

Critical maintenance is an essential part of maintaining safe and reliable power to homes and businesses throughout winter and into the next bushfire season to maintain your safety and prevent even more inconvenient and potentially longer interruptions.

This critical work is needed to avoid potentially catastrophic faults that could put your safety at risk and cause even longer unplanned outages.

Please see here for the latest updates on power supply to your area.

For retailers

We will keep retailers updated if there are changes to our operations that impact the processing of service orders and meter reads.

Please see our frequently asked questions for retailers to help answer customer questions about changes to Endeavour Energy’s operations..

We understand customer contact centres may be facing significant additional call volumes, and we would be happy to work with you to advise customers of your alternate contact options.

If you are having difficulty in contacting Endeavour Energy or require escalation of any issues, please email retailerrelationship@endeavourenergy.com.au.

For suppliers

Endeavour Energy is an essential service that must continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is vital that Endeavour Energy responds effectively to the evolving COVID-19 crisis. As such, our response has three key objectives:

  • protect the health and wellbeing of our employees, contractors, suppliers and their families
  • minimise the risk of our workplace being a potential source of infection into the broader community and
  • minimise the risk of disruptions to our operations.

To keep our staff and suppliers safe we have implemented a range of protocols and obligations for to deliveries to our warehouse and stores.

All deliveries to our sites must follow these delivery protocols. Drivers and their assistants will be briefed upon arrival of the measures they must undertake during the delivery to prevent the risk of contamination.

Our essential suppliers during COVID-19
We rely on key suppliers to continue our operations during the pandemic. We have assessed all our suppliers according to a criteria aimed at fulfilling critical operating requirements against our responsibility to support government directives to limit the free movement of people to stop the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to comply with government decisions about restrictions as they are announced.

Health and Safety obligations of suppliers during COVID-19
All our suppliers must take reasonable steps to manage infection control in their own workplace. All suppliers and contractors must work with their respective Endeavour Energy representatives to ensure the health and safety of customers and workers during the pandemic. Steps for correct personal hygiene and social distancing in the workplace can be found at the Australian Department of Health website.

Reporting a case of COVID-19 in the supply chain
You must email our Head of Procurement, Logistics & Fleet jonathon.llewellyn@endeavourenergy.com.au immediately if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within your workforce or your immediate supply chain and this person(s) either had or may have had direct contact with an Endeavour Energy employee. Please supply the details of the worker and other relevant facts such as the date, time and persons contacted.

Enquiries
Any questions suppliers may have about your health and safety obligations when supplying Endeavour Energy can be directed to your procurement contact at Endeavour Energy. If you are unsure of who this is, please direct enquiries to jacqui.neal@endeavourenergy.com.au