Underground powerline switchgear upgrade
Upgrading electricity equipment to improve reliability
We’re focused on providing reliable electricity supply and we continue to invest in the upgrade of electricity infrastructure, leveraging the latest technology to build a more resilient network.
Underground switchgear used across our network has proven to be a cost-effective and reliable way of supporting the supply of power to homes and businesses for over 40 years. Switchgear is an important component on our network as it provides network protection and regulates supply. It is often used for de-energising equipment and clearing faults in an immediate area, minimising the impact on customers, and ensuring reliable power supply.
Example of traditional switchgear installed in the 1980s, which will soon be replaced.
It’s important to note traditional switchgear used by Endeavour Energy is manual and requires our team to attend onsite to adjust. By installing new switchgear, we can perform activities remotely, quickly protecting our customers and community, and minimising outage impacts - all while team members are travelling to site.
Example of new switchgear
Aging switchgear equipment can lead to network defects resulting in more frequent and longer duration unplanned outages. To ensure this does not occur we are proactively replacing old for new.
We apologise in advance for the interruption to your power supply whilst we complete the switchgear upgrade work. We understand the importance of having ongoing power supply and as a result we will undertake all work quickly and safely to restore power as indicated.
Important considerations during outages:
- If you’re a life support customer please activate your back-up plan immediately. If you are not currently registered for life support and require power for the use of medical devices please call 131 003 to commence the registration process.
- Some of the trucks used to repair electricity infrastructure are large and we may be forced to park across driveways to enable safe access to complete the work required. Talk to our crew when they arrive onsite if you need access to your vehicle, they will work with you to find a suitable time.
- Should there be adverse weather, the job may be rescheduled to another date – we know this is difficult where customers have made alternative arrangements, however our crew is unable to work on live wires during heavy rain or very strong winds.
- In rural areas, access to private property might be required for repairs, safety inspections or switching activities. Please allow our staff access - your power supply may not be interrupted but access to a pole on your property may be required to restore supply to others.
- If you have biodiversity risk associated with your property please let us know by calling 131 003.
What to expect when our team is onsite
Underground switchgear upgrades are usually complete over 2-3 consecutive days. In most cases, your power supply will not be interrupted. If there is the need to interrupt power we’ll notify you by mail at least 4 days prior the outage or send an SMS to the mobile number provided by you to your electricity retailer (the company you receive your power bill from).
Work will require excavation around an existing padmount substation. Excavations vary in size ranging between 1m x 1m for small access needs, up to 5m x 5m. Excavations enable our team to have clear access to the underground switchgear, to complete cable jointing and all required connection work. The installation of temporary fencing, or temporarily backfilling trenches with sand, ensures our community is protected and not exposed to deep excavations during this work.
Example of excavation required to undertake switchgear upgrades
There have been occasions where trees located near substations required trimming or removal for work to be complete. Additionally, we may need to cut sections of driveways, garden beds or footpaths to gain adequate access to the underground network. Should these actions be required we’ll consult customers wherever possible to minimize the impact.
Throughout the duration of this work Endeavour Energy trucks and an excavator will be onsite and this may impact road access. If traffic flow is likely to be impacted, traffic control staff will be onsite to ensure safe access and thoroughfare during this time.
Example o Endeavour Energy team completing underground switchgear upgrade
When the underground switchgear has been upgraded the excavation will be filled. Please note the area may not be immediately turfed as we allow the ground to settle before full restoration and turfing. We’ll ensure adequate safety placarding is displayed to ensure the safety of our customers and community.
Repairs are undertaken when teams and equipment are next available although last minute changes to schedule can occur if there is adverse weather on the day.
Outage Hints and Tips:
Protect your personal safety, electrical equipment and improve your outage experience by following these helpful tips:
- try to keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as possible to avoid food spoiling
- switch off any electronic equipment and disconnect it from the power outlet prior to the interruption. This includes items such as computers, printers, internet modems & routers, media players, television sets and electronic timers
- switch off three phase motors such as air conditioners and garage doors
- recharge or replace batteries for portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, radios and torches
- do not arrange for electrical work to be undertaken within your premises during the outage
- if you have solar panels, check your system is restored once the outage is complete. Not all solar inverters will switch back on automatically
- once your power has been switched off, remember any automatic/electric door (garage doors etc.) will not operate, so it is good to move your car out before the planned outage, or understand how to use the manual override
- in rural areas loss of power often results in loss of water. If you require power for water pumps at your property please consider alternate power generation (I.e. Petrol generators) or alternate water supplies for the duration of the outage
- gas powered stoves and hot water systems rely on electricity supply in order to ignite, you therefore will not have these available during the planned outage
- your NBN internet and home phone service will not be available without your electricity supply (unless backup infrastructure has been installed), so please make alternate arrangements
- don’t turn any electric appliances on during your planned outage and leave them on, as often they will turn on when supply is restored and you least expect it
- consider purchasing an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) connected to any critical devices which may be required during a planned outage
- a USB power bank may provide great backup to charge any USB devices (phones etc) during a planned outage
- our construction works often require road closures. This could affect bus routes on the day of the works, so please be across any potential impacts to your commute
- please be aware that we may be working in your street on days scheduled for your bin pickup. If possible, try to place bins in a location that they can be picked up.