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Gas emergency

Supporting the community through COVID-19

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07 May 2020

Evoenergy continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19, and is buoyed by the community’s resilience and positivity during such widespread change. It’s pleasing to see that the immediate threat of transmission within the local community has eased.

During the coming months, and as the ACT Government reviews restriction measures, Evoenergy will remain vigilant in its response, focused on continuing and extending its service to provide additional support to vulnerable customers, and adapting operations to ensure the health and wellbeing of its workforce whilst providing a safe and reliable energy supply.

Evoenergy Customer Delivery Group Manager Alison Davis says that one of the most important aspects of this work has been collaborating with the ACT Government, partner organisations and industry to identify those hardest hit in the community and respond in a way that meets the needs of the Territory.

“We know families and businesses continue to be impacted by COVID-19, and for many of our customers that rely on their energy service the real impact of recent changes is not yet fully known, but there are clear areas of need and things we can do now,” said Ms Davis.

“Through our collaboration with community advocates we’re hearing stories that provide an insight into the struggle within the community which has helped us to target our response.”

“Having scaled back our planned work program to critical maintenance and essential work and to minimise interruptions to electricity and gas supply while people work from home, we are also mindful of the need to support local businesses including electricians, gasfitters, builders and arborists who rely on Evoenergy progressing some works to earn their living.”

“We are also continuing to contact our customers registered as having life support equipment to understand their individual needs and work with them to ensure they have suitable device management plans in place.”

“We want to assure small businesses that have temporarily ceased operation that they will not be disconnected from their electricity or gas service, and that there will be no charge to resume their service when they’re back up and running. We’ll also be waiving the Network Use of System Daily Fixed charge for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 until the end of July 2020.”

Winter in Canberra is the heaviest energy usage period of the year, Evoenergy encourages families to monitor their energy usage, and where possible, keep heaters set to around 19 degrees.

“Since the start of March, the most significant change in electricity usage we’ve observed in the network has been a downturn in consumption in the commercial sector, but we have understandably seen a small but noticeable increase in residential consumption as more people spend more time at home and the effect of the recent cold snap,” said Ms Davis.

“An increase in energy consumption generally leads to higher bills, and as we head into the cooler months, families already experiencing financial strain should contact their energy retailer before the next billing period and access support.”

As part of its operational response Evoenergy has been conducting additional network checks and monitoring for hospitals, medical centres and Emergency Service Agency sites and prioritising any maintenance or repairs, and reviewing all scheduled work to minimise community impact while continuing to provide safe and reliable energy supply.

Combined, these measures complement the work Evoenergy is doing to comply with the Australian Energy Regulator’s statement of expectations for the energy industry.

See information about Evoenergy’s response to COVID-19 at www.evoenergy.com.au.

For further media information only: 0414 515 359

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