What Orion is doing to support our community during the coronavirus pandemic

22 May 2020

At Alert Level 2, Orion continues to operate efficiently and support our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an essential service provider, we remain acutely conscious of our responsibility to maintain vital power services to the homes and businesses in Christchurch and central Canterbury.

We are continuing to operate a safe and reliable network. During Alert Level 2 we have recommenced our normal levels of network maintenance and upgrade work. We don’t wish to fall too far behind in our planned programme of work as it impacts on our network’s reliability in the longer term, particularly with winter coming. Where this involves a possible power outage for customers, we will consider taking additional steps to keep the power on for as many people as possible while we do work in their immediate area. Where we can, we’ll make extra use of generators to keep people and businesses supplied. Where this cannot be achieved we will consider postponing work if it is not essential.

Be assured that we are well prepared to continue to support our community to keep safe, and we are geared up to respond as the situation evolves, or to other events.

What Orion is doing

Orion is taking proactive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and support the wellbeing of the people and businesses throughout our region.

We’d like to share with you how we are responding to the situation, and provide an update on:

  • What we are doing to protect our people, customers and service providers 
  • How we are ensuring we can continue to provide power to our community

Support for businesses
Many businesses are feeling the impacts of COVID-19 on their ability to operate. To help businesses during this challenging time, Orion is offering through retailers a programme of support for business customers

New ways we are working
Orion has implemented new ways of working to ensure we can continue to maintain essential power services to our community, and help in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

During Alert Level 2 we will continue to:

  • Work to our Pandemic Response Plan. This sets out how we undertake core business functions and provide a continuous supply of electricity to the community during a widespread health emergency.
  • Support our people who continue working from home.
  • Carefully manage the health and wellbeing of the whole Orion team, especially our vulnerable team members.
  • Limit visitors to our operational headquarters.
  • Not allow the public to recharge EVs at our operational headquarters.
  • Cancel non-essential face to face meetings and non-essential travel.
  • Follow the Government’s guidelines around physical distancing, hygiene practices and contact tracing.
  • Take extra steps to ensure our workplaces are clean, hygienic environments and distribute more hand sanitising products throughout our headquarters and operators' vehicles.
  • Ask our people to stay at home if they feel unwell.
  • We will support our people to self-isolate if required.
  • Utilise our alternative Control Centre and Customer Support centre.

We’re taking a cautious, proactive approach to ensure we can keep the power on during a difficult time when our community depends on it most. 

At Orion, we continue to operate efficiently at Alert Level 2 and continue to monitor the situation closely.