Essential Energy has been working since 1 January to restore power to more than 37,000 customers left without power following bushfires that affected the South Coast, Riverina and Snowy Valley areas of NSW.
With a highly coordinated and focused response, just over 90 per cent of customers affected by power outages have had power restored.
Despite working in firegrounds affected by smoke, contending with difficult terrain and dealing with hazardous trees, an additional 1,300 customers had their power restored on 10 January. Around 3,800 Essential Energy customers remain without power.
Crews continued to work over 11-12 January to repair networks and progressively restore power to customers.
An additional 64 field crew and a contingent of staff, including vegetation management, asset inspectors and safety, from across Essential Energy’s footprint joined the 320 personnel who’ve been working in the region since the bushfire recovery began.
Luke Jenner, General Manager Customer and Network Services, said, “As well as our crews on the ground, we have activated additional personnel including asset inspectors, fleet specialists, vegetation management crews, materials specialists, safety, customer service, engineering and logistics support.
“Our goal is to ensure a safe and efficient response to the bushfire restoration efforts, with the health and wellbeing of our communities and staff the number one priority.”
Due to the continuing fires, some areas are yet to be fully scoped to understand the extent of the damage to the electricity network. This means some customers will be facing outages for at least another week, or possibly longer.
To assist communities until power is restored, Essential Energy has been supporting evacuation centres with connecting and running generators to telecommunication services, water and sewerage services, nursing homes and supermarkets. Essential Energy has so far assisted with more than 33 generators.
Senior Essential Energy personnel have been stationed in Emergency Operations Centres, working with key authorities such as the RFS, NSW Police and the RMS in the overarching bushfire response, including assisting making roads safe and clearing vegetation.
Information about specific areas currently impacted by bushfire-related power outages and current expected power restoration is available at www.essentialenergy.com.au/bushfire-updates.