COVID-19 Response - updated 26/3/2020
We can assure Tasmanians, despite major disruption from COVID-19, that our island’s energy supply is secure and reliable. Our two key priorities during this unprecedented time are:
- Keeping the lights on and maintaining our commitment to providing a safe service to our customers and;
- Protecting our people, and the Tasmanian community, by doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We are working hard to understand, implement and reinforce the directions of our State and Federal Government agencies. Given the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, we are required as a business to adapt quickly to further mitigate risk to our customers and our people. We appreciate your patience during this time and ask you to visit this page regularly for updates that may affect you as new measures need to be put in place.
Changes we've made in response to COVID-19
In the field, we have implemented new work practices to adhere to social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines and this has resulted in the delay, re-planning or suspension of some types of work. We are continually reviewing and prioritising our work and customers affected by schedule changes will be notified. Planned outages will still occur as they are required to perform essential maintenance work to ensure a reliable power supply for the community. We understand that with many people self-isolating and working from home that any planned outage will be inconvenient, but we will work to minimise these disruptions where possible in this unprecedented time.
I am self-isolating/working from home and there is a planned power outage in my area, can the outage be delayed?
We understand that with many people self-isolating and working from home that any planned outage will be disruptive, but we are working to minimise these disruptions wherever possible.
Please understand that any planned outages are crucial for the ongoing safety and reliability of your power supply. We’ll try to minimise these, and we appreciate your patience and support.
Why are TasNetworks crews still working in the community?
Electricity is an essential service and we will continue to work within the community to ensure the power supply remains safe and reliable. We have implemented proactive measures to ensure our team members can minimise their contact with others and observe social distancing guidelines as much as is practical.
I am a Life Support customer, what does this mean for me?
Our obligations in relation to Life Support customers have not changed. See our information for Life Support customers.
A decision has been made to suspend all quarterly meter reading. This decision has not been made lightly and will not impact Tasmania’s power supply in any way. At this stage, the suspension will be in place until 15th May 2020 and will then be reviewed.
Why has meter reading been suspended?
Meter reading requires TasNetworks Meter Readers to perform a high volume of meter reads, going from property to property without the opportunity to adopt the required safety precautions, increasing the risk of exposure to the community as well as our field crews. Access to around 80% of meter locations across the state requires an employee to physically touch a gate, door or other item to enter a property.
It is not practical or possible for meter readers to wash/sanitise hands between properties and wearing a pair of gloves from property to property will not stop the spread of the virus.
What does this mean for me?
If you are due to have a quarterly reading during the suspension of meter reading, you will receive an estimated account from your retailer. Your estimation will be based on previous consumption information using approved industry methodology.
Please be aware that the next actual read will correct any discrepancies, however you may wish to see how the estimate compares to your true read, so we would suggest you refer to your retailer’s website on how to read your meter.
If you have an advanced meter, your bills will not be affected.
What about other work TasNetworks performs?
In anticipation of stricter government controls and other COVID-19 impacts we have had to consider how to prioritise new connections, supply upgrades and other alterations to best support our customers.
When processing and scheduling these requests our priority will be establishing supply for customers that require new connections and/or re-energisations.
Where customer’s already have supply, please expect delays to our normal timeframes.
We will continue to provide support where possible for other customer-initiated works, such as special meter reads, where the risk is minimal and appropriate safety measures can be implemented.
As this unprecedented situation continues to evolve within our community, TasNetworks may implement further changes. We are committed to keeping you fully informed if and when there is a need to make further changes that have an impact on our customers.