Most of us take consistent power supply for granted these days.
We use electricity every day without even thinking about it. And if power is lost we soon realise how many appliances in our household depend on electricity. So what should you do in case the power goes off?
If you experience a power fault at your home – for example total power loss, no hot water, or flickering lights – your first point of contact is the Alpine Energy Fault Line 0800 66 11 77. Alpine Energy logs a Consumer Fault Report, and passes it on to the Faults department at NETcon, its main contractor. Here the task will be allocated to a Fault Operator.
There are various possible reasons for power faults. It might be that animals (possums, cats, or birds) got in contact with power lines; a vehicle collided with a power pole; a tree fell into a power line; weather conditions caused damage to line constructions; or a technical failure occurred. It is the Fault Operator’s responsibility to locate and identify the fault; ensure the site is safe and no-one can be harmed; and restore power supply to the customer as soon as possible.
The Alpine Energy Fault Line is available 24-7. After hours, during weekends, and on statuary holidays calls are diverted to the Telephone Answering Service (TAS). TAS will then notify the Fault Operator on duty. The Fault team is backed up by Line Mechanics and Technicians to provide around the clock coverage.
NETcon’s Fault department services the South Canterbury region including the Mackenzie and Waimate Districts. Maintenance and Faults Supervisor Tony Scott leads a team of ten Fault Operators of which seven are based in Timaru. With Barrie Green in Tekapo, and Craig Beer and Kerry Wilson in Twizel, NETcon has three Faultmen covering the High Country.
Within NETcon the Faults team’s main task is to operate switch gear and isolate equipment for work on and around power lines. The team also disconnects vacant installations, and reconnects power to houses if requested by the retailer.
NETcon’s Faults Team in Timaru. From left: Jared Sanderson, Ken McLean, Colin Hobbs, Shaun Wheeler, Ryan Hansford, John Hyland, Graeme Tait, and Tony Scott.