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Counties Energy returns to works programme from November 1

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After nearly three months of delay, lines company Counties Energy will resume their full works programme from November 1 to ensure a safe and reliable electricity supply for their community. Since the country moved into Alert Level 4 on 17 August, crews have largely been working on safety and faults work up until this point.

Counties Energy is the region’s 100 percent community owned lines company, maintaining the electricity network, ensuring new homes and businesses can connect and there is enough capacity to meet the community’s needs. The region is experiencing huge growth, and Counties Energy must build new network to ensure they can power this growth while also increasing capacity for existing customer’s ever-increasing demand for energy with new technology and innovations.

Counties Energy Chief Executive Judy Nicholl says the company cannot continue to operate at its current level of work restriction in Alert Level 3 and must move forward on a number of essential projects to avoid serious consequences to network reliability and capacity. "Thank you to our community for your support of our essential worker crews who have responded to safety and faults work while we’ve all been in lockdown. We’ve chosen not to undertake maintenance or capital works that result in customer outages until this point to minimise disruption to our community. Given the uncertainty now with an extended Alert Level 3 and a new staged approach, coupled with no clear indication for any move to Alert Level 2 this side of Christmas, we simply must pick up tools for our community as the network requires safety and key maintenance work for a robust power supply you can rely on. There are also key infrastructure and essential works projects that must be undertaken."

"From November 1 we will resume our works programme, after nearly three months of delay. Our construction industry and essential services partners are back at work already, and the region faces serious consequences and a major bottleneck of construction projects awaiting electricity work if we do not restart. By returning to work, so too will our local contractors and suppliers - helping the region bounce back from this latest lockdown."

Ms Nicholl says that by recommencing their safety and maintenance programme along with capital works, some planned shutdowns for projects will be necessary. "We appreciate and acknowledge that shutdowns are difficult for our customer’s affected so we’re working hard to ensure we minimise disruption wherever possible and shutdown lengths are kept to an absolute minimum. The reality is, a planned outage is less disruptive than a fault, as our teams and customers can prepare. Thank you to our community for helping us get back to work to ensure a safe and reliable power supply now and into the future."

Planned shutdowns will be advised to customers with at least 10 business days notice, giving affected customers plenty of time to plan for an outage. Reactive shutdowns due to a fault or safety work may however occur within this time. Tips for how to plan for an outage and what to do during can be found at countiesenergy.co.nz/articles/outage-tips. Handy tips for ensuring you can work from home during a planned power outage include charging laptops and devices, using a power pack and hotspotting for internet access.

For more information on Counties Energy’s Covid-19 approach to work under Alert Level restrictions go to countiesenergy.co.nz. View planned shutdowns and faults on the Outage Hub - app.countiesenergy.co.nz.

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