An Australian energy company has been praised for their power restoration efforts in the wake of Queensland’s Tropical Cyclone Marcia in early 2015.

Ergon Energy has been recognised at the 2015 Premier’s Awards for Excellence for their work after Cyclone Marcia crossed the coastline between St Lawrence and Yeppoon, in February 2015, affecting hundreds of kilometres of power lines.

Ergon Chief Executive, Ian McLeod, said “It’s gratifying to see such an effort, which saw more than 1000 utility workers and contractors restore power to more than 63,000 customers in 10 days, be highly commended in the Excellence in Performance category in this year’s awards,

“Restorations are a true team effort and it’s very timely to acknowledge the vital role played by other agencies, as well make special mention of the patience and understanding of our customers during the TC Marcia restoration.”

Mr McLeod said that Tropical Cyclone Marcia was a severe storm that disrupted many people’s lives and wrought considerable damage to the network and other infrastructure.

“That period in late February was certainly a challenging time for many – especially for our own people – those Ergon personnel in Marcia’s path who firstly endured the storm and then became involved in the restoration,” Mr McLeod said.

Mr McLeod said despite being without power for several days, media and customer sentiment had remained overwhelmingly positive, which is a reflection of public resilience and the extra focus placed on keeping customers informed using all available channels.

“We know Marcia is history. But as a utility that provides safe and reliable electricity to customers living in a part of Australia which endures storm, flood and cyclone we are always looking at how we can improve.

“A review of our performance in Marcia’s restoration was conducted and resulted in 11 recommendations, largely around planning and deeper engagement with local stakeholders if possible prior to future severe weather events,” McLeod said.

“As we now ask customers to be prepared as another summer, another storm season, and another cyclone season looms, Ergon will apply our Marcia experience with the intention of making future restorations more effective and efficient.

“The Premier’s Awards for Excellence ‘recognise the outstanding achievements of initiatives, teams and individuals’, and there couldn’t be a more worthy finalist than Team TC Marcia Restoration 2015.”

Jessica Dickers

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