We understand that this is a challenging time for all South Australians, the COVID-19 situation places some members of our community under additional health, social and financial stress.
In line with our recently developed Vulnerable Customer Strategy, we are looking at quickly progressing a number of initiatives to help vulnerable customers over the next few months, whilst ensuring we maintain an essential service to the community.
- Customer information and education regarding reducing consumption and energy efficiency whilst working from home
- Practical advice to reduce consumption around your home
- Investigate undertaking audits virtually for our energy advisory service
- Distribution support
- Electricity relief package for small business and residential customers and assistance for energy retailers
- Tariff relief through the retailer for up to 80,000 small businesses using up to 40 MWh
- Defer network charges for residential customers of the larger retailers who go on hardship arrangements
- Support for small retailers
- Establishing a COVID-19 One Stop Shop on Talking Power and the SA Power Networks website providing regular and consistent information to our customers
- Links to how to pay your bills and financial assistance available, including temporary COVID-19 payments, retailer hardship programs or other financial support
- Links to mental health resources if feeling lonely and isolated – Lifeline, Beyond Blue
- Energy advisory tips
- Investigating our approach to planned work and communication on outage times
- Acknowledge that these types of planned outages may have a greater impact given that more people than ever before are now at home due to coronavirus.
- We are 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.
- Look at providing an estimate of the hours required to do the job
- Target planned work on non-essential services being closed where possible
- Encouraging customers to register for P@MP and to receive notifications on planned/ unplanned outages
- Developing simple messages for our culturally and linguistically diverse communities to help us engage during the COVID-19 situation
- Providing advice to customers who have stockpiled supplies in the case of unplanned outages
- Preparing for power outages
- Messaging re fridges/ freezers and how long food items can last
- Continue to engage and work with our Customer Consultative Panel and Community Reference Group to investigate other possible options and initiatives to help vulnerable customers
- Implementing a number of changes to our work practices so we can safely maintain our services
- Working to ensure we minimise the impact of an extended shutdown on our vital services to customers, including outage and emergency response
- Instructed our people in appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols to safely manage interactions with customers