Media Releases

Winter safety messages from Aurora Energy

27 May 2024
With winter nearly upon us, Aurora Energy is reminding customers about the importance of staying safe around electricity in the cooler months.

“Our electricity network is built to withstand bad weather as much as possible but there will always be events outside our control. Lightning during storms, vegetation interfering with the power lines during strong winds, and icy roads increasing the risk of vehicles slipping and colliding with power poles and pillar boxes, are all hazards that increase over the colder months,” said Matt Settle, Aurora Energy’s General Manager Operations and Network Performance.

“It’s a timely reminder for everyone to be prepared for increased winter hazards, and for both planned and unplanned power outages.”

Power outages

No matter the time of year it is important to have a plan, especially if you are medically dependent on electricity or your business depends on power 24/7. As your local lines company, Aurora Energy has up-to-date power outage information and advice to help you before, during and after outages on their website How to prepare for power outages (auroraenergy.co.nz)

Weather

Severe weather such as strong winds can bring down trees and send objects flying into power lines. If it’s windy, secure large objects like trampolines and outdoor furniture.

Trees and vegetation growing near power lines are a serious safety hazard. Customers are responsible for the trees on their property so head to the Aurora Energy website for safe growing distances and a list of approved arborists. More information is available here: Trees growing near power lines on the Aurora Energy network

Aurora Energy advises people to always keep 10 meters clear of fallen power lines and damaged equipment and treat them as live at all times. To report downed power lines, or trees/branches in power lines, contact Aurora Energy on 0800 22 00 05.

Drive safely

Winter is the most hazardous time of year for driving, so keep up-to-date with weather warnings before you travel and prepare for changing road conditions. If you lose control of your vehicle and hit a power pole, call 111 and stay in the vehicle until help arrives. Electricity travels through the ground and your rubber tyres will help you avoid getting an electric shock. If your vehicle is on fire, open the door and jump clear, keeping your feet together. To prevent a possible electric shock, do not touch the outside of the vehicle. Remain on your feet and either shuffle or hop until you are at least 10 metres away.

Overloading

Overloading appliances in your home by using them all at the same time is not safe for you or the Aurora Energy contractors working on the network. Overloading can cause the power to trip and this can result in power cuts for you and your neighbours. Some electricity retailers offer free power deals, but be aware there is a maximum appliance load for your home. Aurora Energy is encouraging customers to be smarter with free power deals and avoid overloading. Head to the Aurora Energy website for maximum appliance loads Signs you might be overloading (auroraenergy.co.nz)

Energy saving tips

With the cost of living going up, it pays to know how to be smart with the electricity you use. Aurora Energy have put together some tips for customers on their website to keep power bills down, including drawing curtains before sunset, changing lightbulbs to LED, and checking appliances for worn seals and making sure they are energy efficient. More information is available on their website: Energy saving tips (auroraenergy.co.nz)

Consumer NZ and EnergyMate have resources available to help people understand the changes you can make to save on power bills. More information is available on Easy ways to save up to $500 on your power bill (consumer.org.nz) and EnergyMate Tips

Aurora Energy’s public safety campaign encourages everyone to ‘Be switched on to safety’. You will find their adverts in print, online, on the radio and on their website: www.auroraenergy.co.nz/how-we-manage-the-network/health-and-safety