COVID-19 Response - updated 21/05/2020
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.
In light of the easing COVID-19 situation and restrictions, meter reading will recommence in all regions of Tasmania on Monday the 25th of May. Controls have been put in place to continue to minimise exposure for our people and the community, with meter reads only being taken where:
- The property is not an aged care home, doctor’s surgery, hospital, or similar site where there may be vulnerable people
- The meter is not located inside a residence, and safe, unhindered access is available
- The meter reader can maintain a social distance of at least 1.5m to anyone at the property at all times
- Customer keys are not required to access the meters
Our meter readers will incorporate COVID-19 risk assessments, social distancing and hygiene guidelines into the way they work while in the community and at your property. We ask that you assist them to carry out their role safely by:
- Adhering to social distancing measures
- Leaving any gates open during your 3 day read window to reduce the number of surfaces meter readers need to touch
- Notifying TasNetworks on 1300 137 008 if you are due for a meter reading and anyone at your property has tested positive to COVID-19 or are awaiting test results.
How do I know when the meter reader will be at my property? What is a 3 day read window?
Please refer to your most recent electricity bill for your next scheduled read rate. Our meter readers make every effort to read your meter on that date or 1 business day either side – this is referred to as a 3 day reading window.
For the next 4 weeks, if you have a mobile phone number registered with your retailer, we will send you an SMS to notify you of your upcoming meter reading. If you would like to continue receiving these alerts, you can subscribe to the TasNetworks SMS service.
Will you still read my meter during the 3 day read window?
We are recommencing meter reading at a reduced rate initially, and anticipate transitioning back to full operation in the coming weeks as restrictions ease. During this time we may not be able to adhere to the 3 day read window in all instances. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
I still received an estimated bill, why?
In addition to the usual safe, unhindered access that our meter readers require to read your meters, each meter reader has the responsibility to perform a COVID-19 risk assessment when they arrive on site. If your meters are deemed unsafe to access, we will not be able to read your meters, you will receive an estimated bill from your retailer. The estimation will be based on previous consumption information using approved industry methodology.
Please be aware that the next actual read will correct any discrepancies. If you would like to see how the estimate compares to your actual meter reading, you can refer to your retailer’s website to find out how to read your meter to make a comparison.
If you have an advanced meter, your meter is not read by TasNetworks meter readers and your bills will not be affected.
Will you still read the meter inside my house?
Meter readers will not read meters that are inside residences during this time.
Given the high volume of properties the meter reader visits each day, it is not practical to contact all customers to determine the COVID-19 status of the households or what time attendance at the house will occur.
Will you read the meters inside my business?
Our meter readers will read meters inside businesses where:
- There is no requirement for a customer key to enter
- The meter reader has conducted a COVID-19 risk assessment and deem the premises safe to enter
Why did I get an estimate read when I have provided TasNetworks with keys?
To enable social distancing at TasNetworks sites we are minimising the number of employees accessing our sites. Meter readers will start and finish their work day from their home, they will not be attending our depots to collect customer keys. Sites for which we hold customer keys will be skipped, unless access to the meter location is unrestricted when they arrive on site.
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.
Energy Networks Austraila has released the following video outlining the need for critical works.