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Supporting our community during the coronavirus pandemic

We have undertaken significant work to ensure we continue to safely operate in South Australia during the coronavirus pandemic.   

We will continue to keep you updated about any additional steps we take in order to keep our employees and community safe, while ensuring the power stays on.  

We continue to closely monitor the situation, and during this time our priorities remain:  

  • the wellbeing of our people and our customers; and  
  •  maintaining the electricity supply and critical services over an extended period.  

Our approach reflects this evolving situation and is consistent with action being taken by State and Federal governments, based on the best medical advice available. 

As a business, we are well-versed in emergency response and have robust business continuity plans in place.    

We have adopted social distancing strategies and hygiene protocols to safely manage interactions with our workforce and customers. We also have strong industry partners who are taking similar steps.  

We are confident that the steps we have taken will result in minimal impacts to our essential services, such as emergency outage response.   

This means we will continue to have crews available 24/7 for emergency response including responding to fallen wires and power outages.  

It is essential our crews stay safe to keep the power on across the state, so we ask our customers to help by following a few precautions.  

When reporting faults, please continue to 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.  

Customers can also report power outages online 24/7 and let us know in the comments whether there are any infections in the household or not. The alert to our crews does not mean we will not attend the fault reports, it is simply extra information for our crews to manage risk.  

We have also closely reviewed our ongoing work. It is essential that we continue maintenance work during this time. This work, which involves turning power off to ensure the safety of the workers, is critical to ensure that we can keep the power on and minimise the risk of unplanned power outages.  

In light of the changes to community work practices we are also endeavouring to ensure, where possible, any outage as a result of essential work is less than four hours in duration in order to minimise the impact.   

The best way to keep up-to-date about power outages affecting your property, including any cancellations or changes, is via our free SMS and email message service. If you aren’t already registered you can do so here.

As part of our response to this situation we are also prioritising services to some businesses such as supermarkets, childcare and pharmacies – in addition to healthcare facilities – to help others deliver the care and support our community needs. 

Our focus continues to be on maintaining supply now, and over the coming months, and keeping both our crews and the South Australian public safe, well and healthy. 


Frequently asked questions


We will continue to undertake essential work (which involves power outages) during the COVID-19 pandemic, as this work is critical to ensuring we keep the power on for all South Australians.

We are aware that these types of essential outages may have a greater impact given that more people than ever before are now at home due to coronavirus.

In these circumstances, we are closely evaluating the need for particular work activities to proceed and how we might be able to minimise the impact on customers in the current circumstances.

We undertake about 4800 essential works every year in order to ensure the best performance of the network delivering a safe and reliable power supply across South Australia.

We provide at least four business days' notice of this work so that people can plan ahead.

We also try to minimise the number of customers affected, the duration of the outage and the frequency of any such outage in any area.

Essential work remains necessary in order to upgrade and maintain the network during the period, which expert advice would suggest could last for many months.

We're doing our very best to be flexible and minimise the impact on people, while balancing the essential work required to keep the lights on.

You can keep up to date about power outages affecting your property by signing up for updates via SMS or email. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our sign up for updates page. Those who register for the SMS and email service will get eight working days' notice in most instances.

We suggest treating this as any other interruption. A refrigerator and freezer will keep food colder for much longer if you keep the door closed. Avoid opening your fridge to check the contents. For more advice on food safety visit SA Health.

You can keep up to date about power outages affecting your property, including essential work, by signing up for SMS or email updates. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our sign up for updates page.

The times are a guide only and are intended to inform you of the maximum time that your power may be interrupted. You should plan around your power being off for the full time notified.

What we will do is try to give you as accurate and timely information as we can, so you can make informed decisions about how you will manage if we do need to turn off your power.

We’re doing our very best to be flexible and minimise the impact on households, while balancing the essential work required to keep the lights on.

You can keep up to date about power outages affecting your property, including essential work, by signing up for SMS or email updates. This means if we can reduce the duration of the outage, or if the work gets cancelled for any reason, we can let you know. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our sign up for updates page.

As a business we are focused on ensuring that we can continue to provide a safe, reliable electricity supply to our customers However, unexpected outages inevitably occur on the network will occur from time to time.

We have put in place a number of actions to ensure our crews can continue to respond to faults and emergency work 24/7, as the State deals with the coronavirus pandemic. We can keep you informed of our progress in restoring your power via our website, SMS or email updates. You can view all outages online as well as report them to us or call us on 13 13 66.

You can keep up to date about power outages affecting your property by signing up for SMS or email updates. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our sign up for updates page.

Everyone across the electricity sector is doing everything we can to ensure security of electricity supply during the pandemic.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) continues to monitor both electricity supply (generation such as coal and gas power stations, wind turbines, and rooftop solar), as well as demand (what electricity users are currently consuming plus forecasts for the next period) across the National Electricity Market. AEMO ensures there is enough generation to meet demand.

We are continuing essential maintenance through this period to ensure a safe and reliable local distribution network to keep the power on.

If you have been notified of a planned power outage this was scheduled some time ago in our program of work.

While we are aware an increasing number of people are self-isolating or are unexpectedly at home, we assure you that we need to do this work to ensure a the network in your area remains safe and reliable. Unfortunately we have many people with different expectations and we are not able to accommodate everyone’s individual preferences.

You can keep up to date about any power outages affecting your property, by signing up for SMS or email updates. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our sign up for updates page.

The best way to keep up to date about power outages affecting your property, including any cancellations or changes, is through our outage updates which we provide free by SMS or email. If you’re not already receiving these, you can sign up here.  

We don’t provide generators to keep your power supply running during planned work, as it would add considerable time to our works and significant cost to all consumers through their bills.

You may wish to consider purchasing a generator for your home, either to manage this essential work or in case of an unexpected power failure - such as during a storm.

We suggest that you speak with a licensed electrician or generator specialist to discuss your specific needs. The Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) has produced safety information for using generators which you can read here.

You can keep up to date about power outages affecting your property by signing up for SMS or email updates. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our page.

Our obligations in relation to Life Support customers have not changed. We will provide you with at least four working days’ notice when our work will involve a power outage. If you are registered for free sms and/or email, we will provide eight working days’ notice in most cases. This notice is intended to give you time to prepare for being without power and to activate your back up plan for when the power goes out.

Please take time to review your current backup plan in light of current directions around social distancing and self-isolation.

You can keep up to date about power outages affecting your property by signing up for updates via free SMS or email. If you are not already receiving these messages you can register on our sign up for updates page.

Where there is a defect we won’t disconnect unless, in our assessment, the situation is immediately dangerous. If you have been given a date to have the defect fixed by, then we are extending those timeframes when safe to do so. Where the supply has been disconnected to your property only for safety, or if there is a current defect notice, that the defect will need to be fixed before reconnection.

We recognise that there are members of the community who are experiencing financial stress and we recognise that electricity is an essential service.

We encourage you to contact your energy retailer to discuss your circumstances with them as soon as possible. Retailers are actively looking at ways they can assist their customers through this event, there is a range of support, rebates and plans available.

There are also government concessions you may be entitled too if you are not already receiving them.

Meter readers are still be visiting properties. You can expect that they will have incorporated current social distancing and hygiene guidelines into the way they will work at your property. They will also ask you questions around whether you are self-isolating or in quarantine to assist them to carry out their role safely.

If SA Power Networks owns the meter at your property (it will have ETSA printed on it), we can send you a reminder a few days before our meter readers are in your area by signing up for updates. If your retailer owns the meter, they get the data remotely to bill you and our meter readers will not attend your property.

Meter readers are still visiting properties, but because of coronavirus we are changing the way we read meters to protect you and our people.

Instead of using our keys as in the past, we will not enter your premises to read a meter unless you are personally able to confirm it is safe to do so.

Where we don’t enter, we will do an estimate based on your past energy use at the property. Estimates will be corrected in a subsequent bill from your retailer after the next actual read of your meter. If you wish, you can undertake your own meter read and submit this to your retailer. Check their website for details. 

Where your meter is located outside we will continue to read your meter, but ensuring appropriate physical distancing while on your property.

We can send you a reminder a few days before our meter readers are in your area by signing up for updates. If your retailer owns the meter, they get the data remotely to bill you and our meter readers will not attend your property.

Yes.

We are following retailer instructions. Instead of using our keys as in the past, we will not enter your premises to read a meter unless you are personally able to confirm it is safe to do so.

We expect retailers and customers to advise us if anyone is in quarantine at the property.

Meter investigations/inspections will still take place during this period, but because of coronavirus we are changing the way we read meters to protect you and our people.

Instead of using our keys as in the past, we will not enter your premises to read a meter unless you are personally able to confirm it is safe to do so.

Where your meter is located outside we will continue to read your meter, but ensuring appropriate physical distancing while on your property.

We ask for customer assistance and understanding to help us manage this safely while we are on site.

No. All locations are currently closed to external visitors. If you have an urgent need to attend sites please call us on 13 13 66, during business hours.

You can still report streetlights to us here and we will attend within our normal timeframes. Learn what these are and more about street light repairs here.

To ensure we provide our communities with a safe and reliable electricity supply we are committed to continuing our vegetation management program.

You can expect tree trimming crews will have incorporated current social distancing and hygiene guidelines into the way they will work near your property.

They may also ask you questions around whether you are self-isolating or in quarantine to assist them to carry out their role safely.

We ask for customer assistance and understanding to help us manage this safely while we are on site.