Reliability and Safety

Ensuring reliable energy distribution and the safety of the public, our contractors and our staff are high priorities for Powerco.

In electricity distribution, our reliability is generally considered to be very good, particularly given the large distances and low customer densities of the areas we serve.

Our centralised Network Management Centre in New Plymouth monitors Powerco's gas and electricity networks. Remotely controlled switching of electricity networks is also being extended for faster and less-costly upgrading, maintenance and repair activities.

We regularly refine our preventative maintenance practices and outage management processes to improve the performance of our networks.

Trees are a common problem with overhead lines. They are hazardous if allowed to grow too close to lines and can cause outages in high winds and storms. So Powerco regularly communicates with landowners to ensure that trees planted under or near electricity lines are trimmed by approved contractors.

With our gas distribution networks, we operate inspection and maintenance regimes to meet all the requirements of the Gas Act and the Gas Regulations, as well as the Industry Gas Standards and Code of Practice.

We have a strict schedule of inspection and maintenance on all our gas network assets, which comprise underground valves, district regulator stations, meter regulator stations and cathodic protection systems for our below-ground steel gas pipelines. Levels of odourant (added to ensure gas is readily detectable in the event of a leak) are also monitored on a strict schedule. Faults teams are centrally despatched via our Network Management Centre.

Gas network reliability can be affected by damage caused by digging. Therefore, Powerco actively carries out ongoing education for homeowners and contractors on safe digging practices.

Personnel in all areas of the business receive regular safety training and we are committed to reducing all forms of work-related accidents. 

Click here to view the latest Electricity Reliability Report. 

Powerco Participant Outage Plan

Under the Electricity Governance (Security of Supply) Regulations 2008, all electricity distributors are required to prepare a Participant Outage Plan. Powerco have prepared a security of supply response plan consistent with the Electricity Commission's Security of Supply Outage Plan to meet this requirement. The plan is required for managing severe energy shortages - although these are highly unlikely it details how rolling outages would be planned and implemented.

Rolling power outages are a last resort measure for managing severe energy shortages. Under normal conditions they should not be necessary, but it is prudent to plan for contingencies where they may be required.

Powerco’s participant outage plan has been approved by the Electricity Commission and can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Download Powerco Participant Outage Plan (PDF, 864kb)