24 March 2020
COVID-19: Supporting customers and maintaining energy supply
Origin Energy has reassured its customers that help is available for anyone impacted by COVID-19, and that it continues to take action to ensure access to reliable energy supply is maintained throughout the pandemic.
Origin’s actions include:
- Helping customers impacted by COVID-19 by offering payment extensions and supporting the most vulnerable through our hardship program, such as with tailored payment plans and protection from disconnection
- Staff in critical roles continue to work to keep our power stations and gas and LPG operations running safely and reliably
- Precautions in place to protect the health and safety of our workforce and the communities in which we operate
Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, “This is an unprecedented situation and we are focused on protecting the health and safety of our people and the communities in which we operate, while maintaining safe and reliable operations.
“At the same time, many Australian households and small businesses are facing considerable economic uncertainty and we understand energy bills can cause further stress at this time, particularly for the more vulnerable members of our community.
“We encourage any customers who are having trouble paying their bills to request a payment extension through our website or call us to discuss other types of support available.
“We will continue to use our hardship program as the primary vehicle through which we support vulnerable customers, such as with tailored payment plans and protection from disconnection.
“We are also working closely with state governments to help them deliver energy rebates for small businesses and residential customers to help ease the financial burden.
“Origin has responded swiftly in activating business continuity plans in our Integrated Gas and Energy Markets divisions, and to date there has been no material impact to energy supply operations as a result of COVID-19.
“As a provider of an essential service, we plan extensively for these sorts of events and I’m proud of how our teams have responded and coordinated with industry to maintain reliable supply of power, natural gas and LPG to our millions of customers across the country.
“Importantly, we have access to plenty of fuel including natural gas, coal and LPG and we’re looking to minimise any planned maintenance to further mitigate risks to our people and assets.
“Most of our workforce is now working remotely, and we’ve implemented a range of precautions to protect our people who continue to work in roles critical to maintaining energy supply. These actions include managing shifts and rosters to reduce contact between staff, a range of social distancing measures, restricting visitors to sites and additional health screening. We continue to evolve these protocols in line with the latest advice from the government and health authorities.
“We will keep actively working with federal and state governments and industry on ways we can keep safely operating critical functions such as power stations and gas production facilities through the restrictions, as well as find further ways we can support our customers and the Australian community,” Mr Calabria said.