At the end of last week, more than 4000 properties in and around Lismore remained without power because of flooding.
Essential Energy said it was continuing the enormous task to restore electricity supply to all houses and businesses, and had advice on how people could ensure their properties were ready to be connected once the network was repaired, and what funding was available to help that process.
There are three things you need to do to get reconnected:
- Engage a licensed electrical contractor to inspect your premises for safety and compliance.
- When your contractor has completed the inspection, they will log a Certificate of Compliance for Electrical Work (CCEW) with Essential Energy and leave a copy with you. This will allow crews to be scheduled to restore your supply.
- Call Essential Energy on 13 20 80 to have your power restored.
If you need help finding a licensed electrical contractor, call Master Electricians on 1300 889 198 or National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) on 1330 361 099. Master Electricians and NECA are organising for additional licensed electrical contractors to travel to affected areas to carry out safety and compliance inspections.
You will need to pay the electrical contractor for the safety and compliance inspection. Essential Energy will waive the normal reconnection fee for flood-affected customers.
If your electrical contractor is a Level 2 Accredited Service Provider (ASP), they may be able to restore your power, rather than Essential Energy restoring your power, but this will depend on the results of the ASP's safety inspection and any necessary repairs.
If your electrical contractor is not a Level 2 ASP, you may choose to employ a Level 2 ASP to reconnect your property once your electrical contractor has inspected and safety certified your property.
A list of Level 2 ASPs is available from the NSW Government Energy Saver website.
Your Level 2 ASP will submit a Notification of Service Work to Essential Energy once your property has had power restored.
You will need to pay the electrical contractor for the safety and compliance inspection and power restoration by the Level 2 ASP. Essential Energy will reimburse the costs for reconnection only (not safety inspections or electrical repairs) up to $350. See below for how to claim your reimbursement.
If you are unable to find a Level 2 ASP following completion of a safety and compliance inspection, please contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80 to have power restored.
To claim your reimbursement:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following documents:
- Copy of the Certificate of Compliance for Electrical Work (CCEW)
- Itemised invoice from the Level 2 ASP Level 2 for the reconnection process
- Completed New Vendor Information form, to enable us to process your reimbursement.
The Customer Contact Centre will provide you with a Case Number by return email. Please keep this number as your reference.
Once approved, Essential Energy will process your reimbursement of up to $350 to pay for the Level 2 ASP reconnection fee.
If your home was completely destroyed by the floods and you will be rebuilding, Essential Energy will contribute $600 toward supporting you to reconnect to the network. You have two years to apply for this contribution.
Any customers facing financial stress or hardship can contact Essential Energy's Customer Contact centre to discuss what options may be available.
Alongside Essential Energy's key focus of getting the power back on safely, it has put in place a support program to assist customers as outlined below:
- Providing reimbursement of up to $350 for the costs charged by an Accredited Service Provider (ASP) to a customer to disconnect and reconnect a property to enable inspections and/or repairs to the customer's electrical installation due to flood damage
- Waiving the Certificate Compliance of Electrical Works (CCEW) cost for ASPs for flood affected post codes
- Pausing all Disconnections for Non-Payment (DNPs) in flood affected areas whilst the Natural Disaster continues
- Pausing customer communications for Private Asset defects in flood affected areas
- Repairing or replacing any private assets which have been damaged or destroyed by flooding on a like for like basis at Essential Energy's cost
- Providing customer service support, on the ground, face-to-face
- Maintaining increased staffing levels across the contact centre to customers calling in with queries
- Continuing to call all life support customers in current outages to do a welfare check
- Contributing $600 towards supporting customers in the cost to re-connect to Essential Energy network (e.g. if their house is total loss) for flood impacted customers within our network for a period of two years.