The company is also investing $4 million in its pole maintenance and replacement programme this year as part of the asset management plan in place.
“Aurora Energy takes the safety of people and communities extremely seriously and will also look into any concerns that are raised with our infrastructure,’ says Chief Executive Grady Cameron.
“All wooden and concrete poles have a ‘life expectancy’ and there are national regulations that guide pole replacement and maintenance programmes. The Energy Safety Service has confirmed it will carry out a compliance and safety audit to ensure that Aurora Energy’s infrastructure meets safety requirements. We welcome the review by the Energy Safety Service and are cooperating fully.
There are 54,000 wooden and concrete poles within the Aurora Energy network. Of these 1,181 or 2% are identified for replacement within the next three months.
“Aurora Energy wants to reassure the public that the concerns about poor condition power poles are known to us and being addressed with urgency as part of our planned pole replacement programme.
“There is a temporary backlog of replacement work, but we have invested in and significantly accelerated our replacement programme in the past two years and again this year to come into line with the industry regulations.”
“Aurora Energy remains fully committed to completing the planned programmes to upgrade the network and is investing more than $400 million to secure the future reliability of our network over the next 10 years.”
Aurora Energy is New Zealand’s sixth largest electricity network, supplying electricity to 86,400 homes, farms and businesses in Dunedin and Central Otago.