ActewAGL feeling the heat on power poles

By 17 January, 2014 18

ActewAGL has announced they’re scaling back today’s power outages for fear of being lynched by angry mobs:

Based on the latest weather forecasts, we have reviewed our planned maintenance schedule and made the decision to postpone 2 of the previously scheduled electricity interruptions for today.

These two jobs, which are pole replacements had the potential to extend into the hottest part of the day. Our priority is the safety of everyone involved.

We are still proceeding with a planned electricity interruption today in 1 suburb affecting a total of 33 customers but we anticipate this will be completed before midday.

We are doing everything we can to further minimise any inconvenience as a result of planned electricity interruptions. Field crews started work this morning at 5.30am to complete the planned maintenance work before the hottest part of the day.

ActewAGL has made the decision not to provide information to the media about suburbs or streets affected by planned outages. This decision has been made to protect the confidentiality of the affected customers. And, is therefore a matter between ActewAGL and the customer.

Please login to post your comments
18 Responses to ActewAGL feeling the heat on power poles
#1
Silentforce5:38 pm, 17 Jan 14

“ActewAGL has made the decision not to provide information to the media about suburbs or streets affected by planned outages. This decision has been made to protect the confidentiality of the affected customers. And, is therefore a matter between ActewAGL and the customer.”

I call ‘Bulls***!’

#2
sepi6:46 pm, 17 Jan 14

This bit from the Ct is the real reason i think – they don’t want a lot of people ringing them up!

“He also said in the unnamed suburb on Friday where 33 customers were affected, there were 2000 homes and ActewAGL did not want to cause undue stress to unaffected customers or prompt them to flood its switchboard with enquiries, possibly preventing a real emergency from being attended to.”

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/call-for-review-of-actewagl-power-cut-planning-during-heatwaves-20140117-30zt8.html#ixzz2qdiH5rG1

the whole thing has been hopeless. People need to know when their power is going off. this new work they are doing at 5.30 am – have they told anyone?? – do people just get up late (with no alarm clock) to find they have no power and can’t get out of the garage?

#3
Silentforce7:17 pm, 17 Jan 14

I question how:

* A locality can identify individuals that are not already in the public domain.

* Given the choice options of utility suppliers and various rates charged under plans that change to suit purpose; how personal identification of each individual ACTEWAGL customer can occur.

* ACTEWAGL can insulate those in affected localities who require home oxygen, nebulator or other life support systems that rely on consistent and reliable domestic electricity supplies ?

* How will ACTEWAGL explain the loss of a life if it occurs in their media release? It would have happened anyway due to their age/health; it was a risk-based decision; the Corner said…

#4
Silentforce8:15 pm, 17 Jan 14

Oh. Didn’t I mention Privacy legislation?

Privacy legislation prevents Commonwealth Agencies fight fraud and Win

#5
chewy148:45 pm, 17 Jan 14

sepi said :

This bit from the Ct is the real reason i think – they don’t want a lot of people ringing them up!

“He also said in the unnamed suburb on Friday where 33 customers were affected, there were 2000 homes and ActewAGL did not want to cause undue stress to unaffected customers or prompt them to flood its switchboard with enquiries, possibly preventing a real emergency from being attended to.”

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/call-for-review-of-actewagl-power-cut-planning-during-heatwaves-20140117-30zt8.html#ixzz2qdiH5rG1

the whole thing has been hopeless. People need to know when their power is going off. this new work they are doing at 5.30 am – have they told anyone?? – do people just get up late (with no alarm clock) to find they have no power and can’t get out of the garage?

Ah no.

They are required to send out letters to affected residents well beforehand. If you didn’t get a letter, your power ain’t going off. Simple.

Honestly, its a few hours of no power for a few individuals. How did some of these people survive before air conditioning?

#6
steveu9:46 pm, 17 Jan 14

Slow clap for actewagl.

Silentforce is spot on “risk based decision” they blame the person who did their risk management plan as a means of weaselling out of taking responsibility more like it.

This has been a public relations disaster, you would think the CEO at the first instance of hearing the complaints on the radio would have hit the phone and cancelled the work. But no, they put their PR people onto it and prattled on about causing slippage to their tight maintenance schedule. Got news for ya, the most basic planner for construction factors in rain days. Surely you had some float in your schedule plan to accommodate all sorts of weather?

Poor form and lack of common sense IMHO.

#7
A_Cog11:45 pm, 17 Jan 14

Yes yes, it was always fu$#ing ridiculous that ActewAGL didn’t name the suburbs. Just another example of this poorly-run company hiding its shitty management decisions.

What I was concerned about was the truly poor coverage in the Canberra Times, by that alleged journalist Stephanie Anderson (whose property reporting has always only ever been churnalism) and her total failure to identify the affected suburbs, or provide a reason why no suburbs were identified, or maybe, smelling some blood in the water, and writing a piece about a really key company in the ACT making a stunningly poor decision in the first place – and how that decision is indicative of an impending crisis/tragedy/scandal/lawsuit. Surely the decision to cancel the work shows that ActewAGL is in chaos.

#8
s-s-a1:36 am, 18 Jan 14

People with a medical requirement for electricity (life support rebate customers) are still affected by maintenance outages BUT receive written notification significantly more than four days in advance. It is up to the customer to ensure that alternative power source is available for planned outages.

Not sure about changes to commencement time though – unannounced power off at 5.30am when you were expecting it on until 9am could make things difficult. Though it would definitely make for an early wake up call for anyone using a sleep apnoea machine!

Unlike Telstra, who reinstated service to Priority Assistance Customers ASAP after the 2003 bushfires, Actewagl electricity life support customers received no priority for reconnection. In our case the phone was on within two or three days but the power stayed off for just short of two weeks.

#9
sepi10:46 am, 18 Jan 14

chewy14 said :

sepi said :

This bit from the Ct is the real reason i think – they don’t want a lot of people ringing them up!

“He also said in the unnamed suburb on Friday where 33 customers were affected, there were 2000 homes and ActewAGL did not want to cause undue stress to unaffected customers or prompt them to flood its switchboard with enquiries, possibly preventing a real emergency from being attended to.”

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/call-for-review-of-actewagl-power-cut-planning-during-heatwaves-20140117-30zt8.html#ixzz2qdiH5rG1

the whole thing has been hopeless. People need to know when their power is going off. this new work they are doing at 5.30 am – have they told anyone?? – do people just get up late (with no alarm clock) to find they have no power and can’t get out of the garage?

Ah no.

They are required to send out letters to affected residents well beforehand. If you didn’t get a letter, your power ain’t going off. Simple.

Honestly, its a few hours of no power for a few individuals. How did some of these people survive before air conditioning?

We did get a letter, that is part of the problem. the letter named a whole week – inc saturday, when the power could be off between 830 and 4.30. But now they say they are starting at 5.30am – well does that apply to the people who got letters weeks ago saying 830?

and they provided a number to ring for enquiries – guess what – I’ve rung it about 6 times – no answer!!

#10
Deref1:29 pm, 18 Jan 14

Silentforce said :

“ActewAGL has made the decision not to provide information to the media about suburbs or streets affected by planned outages. This decision has been made to protect the confidentiality of the affected customers. And, is therefore a matter between ActewAGL and the customer.”

I call ‘Bulls***!’

As something of a privacy advocate, I, too, call BS. Bogus “privacy” excuses are too often used by both business and government to hide behind.

#11
scentednightgardens1:38 pm, 18 Jan 14

They really are a nasty mob, them folks at ACTEW. Uncaring and greedy. Look, maybe if all those Canberrans with their electric alarm clocks and ducted air con had the most reliable network in the country, ACTEW’s insistence with maintenance wouldn’t seem so bad, right? Or what if we had the cheapest power bills in Australia? Mate, I’d be buying the CEO a beer.

Oh wait – hang on…..

#12
johnboy1:46 pm, 18 Jan 14

I suspect the issue is they don’t want to advertise the suburbs where the security systems will be off for the morning.

#13
DrKoresh2:12 pm, 18 Jan 14

johnboy said :

I suspect the issue is they don’t want to advertise the suburbs where the security systems will be off for the morning.

Yeah, that was my first thought too, especially if the work is being done during work hours. It’s just common sense.

#14
A_Cog2:50 pm, 18 Jan 14

johnboy said :

I suspect the issue is they don’t want to advertise the suburbs where the security systems will be off for the morning.

Fair thought JB, but… [most] home security alarms will have a 12V back-up battery to continue giving power in the event of a mains outage. The batteries are also a fail safe in case a burglar cuts the wire from the box to the alarm or to the external siren and light, and/or to the phone line for a call-out.

So, I still can’t see a reason ActewAGL didn’t give suburb names from Tuesday onwards. Like I said, it’s inexplicable, until you tie it to all the other poor decisions they’ve made in the last 24 months. They have a problem with management. Either no one is checking that everyone is doing their jobs well and making good decisions, or, there is one autocrat making everyone’s decisions for them but the autocrat goes unchallenged.

#15
c_c™2:56 pm, 18 Jan 14

johnboy said :

I suspect the issue is they don’t want to advertise the suburbs where the security systems will be off for the morning.

I thought about that, and that would be a wise precaution, but the monitored systems have 12v back up, and I believe the DIY ones usually have some form of battery.

#16
johnboy3:02 pm, 18 Jan 14

Far be it for me to defend the behemoth of ActewAGL but it’s also worth noting the huge resources they throw into getting these repolling exercises done as quickly as possible.

We’re talking dozens of personnel and a great deal of heavy equipment.

It’s understandable why they’re loathe to cancel for any reason.

Having said that we might need an agreed temperature above which it should be deferred.

Something for worksafe. I’d go with no non-emergency work in over 35 degrees myself.

#17
sepi4:45 pm, 18 Jan 14

It isn’t all pole replacement – some of these vital jobs are just meter box replacement. If the meter box has sat there for 30 years surely it can last another week or two.

#18
wildturkeycanoe6:43 pm, 18 Jan 14

sepi said :

It isn’t all pole replacement – some of these vital jobs are just meter box replacement. If the meter box has sat there for 30 years surely it can last another week or two.

You don’t need to shut power to 33 homes for one meter, it is just a fuse at the sub-station or pillar box, or pole-top fuse if in the older burbs.

Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

Halloween in Australia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.