Keeping the Lights On and the Gas Flowing
As a leading energy infrastructure company, we know we have an important role to play in powering the lives of over 1.6 million Australians.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken a number of steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people and the communities we operate in, while ensuring the continued reliability of our electricity and gas networks.
To learn more about how we’re adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our Newsroom.
Contacting us during these times
Jemena delivers gas to more than 1.4 million New South Wales homes and businesses, and electricity to over 360,000 customers across Melbourne’s north-west. Our control rooms are running as normal during this period to ensure the safety of our networks. If you are experiencing an electricity or gas fault or emergency, you can contact us on the following numbers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
New South Wales
Providing Financial Relief During COVID-19
In early April 2020, electricity and gas networks across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia released the Energy Networks Relief Package. The package provided support to eligible people who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the package, networks like Jemena agreed to either waive or defer our portion of affected customers’ energy bills.
The Energy Networks Relief Package was administered by the customers’ energy retailers. For more details about the package, view the Energy Networks Media Release.
Click on the respective link below for information for:
JEMENA GAS NETWORK
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working with our customers and stakeholders to understand the sort of support we can provide them at this time. Also, view our Information in other languages page for some general gas information.
Planned network maintenance
To ensure the safety and integrity of our gas network, our Planned Network Maintenance Program is being closely monitored and prioritised regularly, with no work needing to be been delayed to date. We’re working to minimise any disruptions associated with vital maintenance work, but notifying customers via a card in their letterbox 5 days in advance that we’ll be working in the area and their gas supply may be temporarily interrupted.
Our Aged Meter Replacement Program however has been put on hold to minimise direct contact with customers in light of the pandemic. We expect to be able to complete the program in Q3 and Q4 of 2020.
A management plan is being developed for mains extension and connection works, to manage the risks associated with COVID-19, whilst continuing the important task of completing these projects.
Report a gas leak online
To simplify the process of reporting gas leaks, we have developed an online tool that is accessible from any device with access to the internet.
By visiting gasleakreport.jemena.com.au you can report gas leaks in just a few clicks. The tool is also available in Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese.
To protect our customers and field crews, the tool has recently been updated to prompt users to confirm whether they have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, or been in a close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Meter reading and development of self-read program
COVID-19 means our gas meter readers are facing challenges in carrying out their normal meter reading services. Meter readers typically read customers’ gas meters 4 times a year to record how much gas they’ve used, so their energy retailers can issue accurate gas bills.
To minimise any risk to meter readers and our customers, we have put in place safety practices such as mandatory use of gloves at all times, new hygiene procedures and social distancing measures.
With social distancing restrictions in place, our meter readers are not entering inside a customer’s property to take a read as we cannot guarantee their safety.
In support of this, we are currently developing a robust customer self-read method, which will provide both a digital and non-digital self-read solution when our readers cannot safely access a gas meter.
Energy saving tips
It always pays to keep maintenance up to date on each of your Natural Gas appliances and adhere to the instructions for use as provided by the manufacturer with the product. This will assist your appliances to run more efficiently as well.
If your appliances are getting a little old and tired, you might want to consider upgrading to more energy efficient models to save on running costs in the long run. You’ll be supporting local businesses in the meantime too.
Only ever use a licensed plumber or gas fitter to carry out work on your gas pipework and appliances - never undertake the work yourself. You’ll find a list of gas specialists near you here gonaturalgas.com.au/find-a-gas-appliance-fitter.
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JEMENA ELECTRICITY NETWORK
In response to the COVID-19 situation, we have been working with a broad range of customers and stakeholders to understand what sort of support we can provide them at this time. View our COVID-19 information sheet here, or view our Information in other languages page.
For our electricity customers in Victoria, we are working to minimise the number of planned outages during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are only performing essential work to maintain the reliability of our network and are delaying all non-essential planned outages or shortening the duration where possible.
We understand the impact planned outages have on our customers with many working from home and with more food in the fridge.
As well as dropping a card in your letterbox 7-10 days out, impacted customers can now expect a personalised call to help answer any queries, plus an SMS reminder 1-2 days out from an outage.
All customers can visit our new planned outage page for daily status updates and details, or call 1300 658 045 for 24/7 Faults and Emergencies support.
Steps we have taken for essential field work
Be assured our staff are fully compliant with all requirements under any imposed government restrictions. We closely monitor government updates and health authority advice, and will continue to comply accordingly. Here are some of the steps we have taken to minimise risks to our community and our people.
Our field teams (Jemena, Zinfra, and other authorised contractors):
- wear face masks/respiratory protection when required, where it does not introduce an additional work practices related risk, using company issued face masks (surgical, P2/N95) which cover the nose and mouth
- maintain a safe 1.5m distance from each other where practicable
- wash their hands regularly and thoroughly
Batteries during planned outages
We know being without power for a short period is an additional challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are now offering to loan portable batteries free of charge to our electricity customers with medical needs during planned outages. This service is also available to customers who need continuous power supply for other reasons.
You can request to loan a battery free of charge when a Jemena representative calls you about a planned outage in your area.
Bill payment support
The Energy Network Relief Package, which concluded on the 31st January 2021, helped take the pressure off household and small business energy bills for eligible customers. We worked with energy retailers to waive or defer our portion of electricity bills.
For further bill payment support, please contact your electricity retailer.
No disconnections for customers experiencing financial stress
Our customers can rest assured that we won’t disconnect electricity for any residential or small business customers without their agreement.
To learn more, either contact your electricity retailer to discuss your situation with the hardship team. Or contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or visit: https://ndh.org.au/debt-problems/electricity-gas-and-water-bills/
Assistance for Life Support Customers
We are providing advanced notice via SMS and phone calls for all planned outages impacting customers with life support equipment or medical needs that require continuous energy supply. We are also offering to loan portable batteries at no cost to affected customers, to run medical equipment during planned outages or extended unplanned outages. If you are interested in loaning a portable battery, please call us to discuss on 1300 658 045.
If you require life support equipment, please contact either your energy retailer to register as a Life Support Customer or call us for more details on 131 626.
Energy saving tips
If you are a Jemena residential customer, you can register for our online electricity use monitoring tool: our Electricity Outlook Portal. You can see how your daily electricity use compares to this time last week, last month, and even last year.
With the nights getting chillier, set your heater to 18-20 degrees with the fan on to help it run more efficiently. Every extra degree warmer can add another 10% to running costs.
Your fridge and freezer are energy hungry appliances. To help them run as efficiency as possible, set your fridge temperature to 3-5 degrees, freezer to minus 15-18 degrees, and check the door seals are working properly.
Squeezing in some extra laundry while working from home? Running your machine on cold wash with an extra spin can save on energy use, drying times and overall costs.
It also pays to keep maintenance up to date on each of your electric appliances, and read and adhere to the instructions for use as provided by the manufacturer with the product. This will assist your appliances to run more efficiently as well.
For more home energy saving tips, visit our Power Changers Community Connections page.
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Jemena owns and operates some of the country’s most important gas pipelines, transporting gas from gas reserves to major gas centres in New South Wales and Queensland.
For our Queensland operations, we understand that a range of exemptions exist in relation to the movement of goods and services connected with a critical service. Jemena has been advised that our operations constitute a critical service. As such, our employees who need to enter the state to carry out work will be able to continue to do so without being subject to quarantine measures.
Entry to Queensland will be done in accordance with the approved Queensland Health Plan, which applies to anyone accessing Queensland from other jurisdictions for work purposes. All our employees will follow the guidelines provided by Queensland Health.
We have set out below some of the additional measures being implemented for our operational personnel to assist us with keeping our assets operating safely.
- Field personnel
The majority of Jemena’s field personnel are local people. They live in the communities located near our assets. They are not impacted by border closures and travel restrictions. Where possible they will work from home. Where that is not possible, like all other members of the community, they will observe social distancing measures, avoid unnecessary contact with others, and maintain good hygiene. Team members will only attend the depot when necessary to collect equipment and materials. In the event that they are required to work or travel together, they will maintain appropriate social distancing and good hygiene practices.
- FIFO Personnel
Jemena has a small number of technical specialists who perform their roles on a FIFO basis. Jemena will only bring specialised workers into Queensland to undertake time critical and essential works. Specialised workers will restrict their movements to between the airport, their work and their accommodation. All specialist workers from other jurisdiction will have an approved Queensland Health Plan. Any technical specialist entering QLD will do so with minimal interaction with the community.
- Control Room
The control room has been restricted to only those personnel who work as Controllers.
The floor on which the control room is located is only accessible to Controllers. Separate teams have been established and the teams are operating from different locations.
- Commercial Operations
The entire Commercial Operations team is working from home/remotely. We have segregated the team and have additional personnel available to ensure ongoing commercial support.
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