The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has announced Endeavour Energy as a recipient of EEI’s Emergency Response Award.
Presented to EEI member companies, Emergency Response Awards recognise recovery and assistance efforts of electric companies following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events.
The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process and were presented during EEI’s Winter Board and chief executives meeting.
“Last year, many of our nation’s electric companies and their customers endured historic storms and wildfires and other significant weather-related events,” EEI president Tom Kuhn said.
“Working around the clock to restore power safely and quickly to customers and deploying mutual assistance crews to support impacted companies are hallmarks of the electric power industry. When disasters strike, impacted and neighbouring electric companies are quick to assess damage and to respond and assist with restoration.
“I congratulate and applaud Endeavour Energy for demonstrating continued commitment to the customers and communities it serves. In the midst of a some of the largest bushfires Australia has ever seen and often in the most hazardous of conditions, Endeavour Energy and its frontline employees worked around-the-clock to restore service safely and quickly to its customers after fires burned for months across its network area,” he said.
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“Endeavour Energy is exceptionally deserving of this prestigious award.”
Endeavour Energy’s CEO Guy Chalkley said he was honoured to accept the award on behalf of its dedicated and committed workforce and the 2.5 million Australians served by them.
“We are incredibly proud of our people, who marshalled themselves as a small army when our customers needed us the most,” he said.
“They responded decisively, credibly and with empathy to rebuild and restore electricity to communities after three megafires burned across more than 45 per cent of our network area.
“Between November 2019 and January 2020 more than 92 per cent of our field staff worked to restore power to 54,000 bushfire affected customers, removed and replaced 800 burnt power poles, rebuilt many kilometres of overhead wires and supplied 95 generators to bushfire impacted homes and businesses across New South regions of the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Southern Highlands and the South Coast.
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“We learned and shared key lessons from the 2019-20 bushfire season, resulting in five recommendations being put forward to the Australian Government’s Bushfire Royal Commission and the NSW Government’s Bushfire Inquiry.
“From every disaster, new opportunities emerge. We created a National Bushfire Networks Coordination Group, formed cross-sector partnerships, and introduced new fire mesh technology to prevent critical timber poles from burning. Looking to the future, we also have a much stronger focus on resilience and improved risk management.”
Mr Chalkley thanked the EEI for the international recognition to Endeavour Energy’s commitment to the recovery and assistance they provided their customers in extremely difficult circumstances caused by extraordinary events.
“We take a great deal of pride in keeping our customers and communities safe,” he said.