An increasing number of Essential Energy meter readers have been attacked by dogs, with spring a peak time for incidents
An increasing number of Essential Energy meter readers have been attacked by dogs, with spring a peak time for incidents

Essential Energy: please don’t let the dogs out

WITH dog adoptions surging during the coronavirus lockdown, and the arrival of spring, Essential Energy is urging all dog owners to do what they can to protect electricity meter readers.

Analysis by Essential Energy of the past three years has shown an increasing trend of incidents involving a dog, with 63 per cent of dog attacks in the 2019 financial year causing an injury.

The data also shows that these attacks tend to be more frequent at the beginning of spring, with two dog attacks already occurring in September 2020. In one case, the victim required medical treatment for a bite.

Essential Energy's general manager of customer and network services Luke Jenner said dog owners can help keep workers safe by advising if they have any dogs that might pose a threat to their electricity meter readers.

"Everyone has the right to come home safe from their job so we're asking anyone who has a dog, if there's a chance they may pose a threat or injure an Essential Energy employee or one of our contracting staff, to please let us know," he said.

If a potentially dangerous dog is on a property and safe unhindered access is not guaranteed, Mr Jenner said meter reading contractors will avoid entering the property to ensure their own safety and the safety of the home or business owner. As a result, that property will receive a bill based on estimated electricity usage.

"Town locations make up nearly half of our potentially dangerous dog locations, however regardless of the location, we ask all dog owners to do the right thing and let us know if it is safer for our meter readers to avoid your property," Mr Jenner said.

"Dog owners should also not assume that it's only large dogs either, meter readers have experienced attacks by aggressive smaller breeds in the past as well.

"Over a year, we visit properties in our footprint more than three million times to read meters. We want people to have accurate meter reads but we will not endanger our own people, our contractors or other people in the community."

Dog owners can visit www.essentialenergy.com.au/at-home/your-meter for more information.



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