Origin Energy response to Covid-19
Written on the 9 April 2020 by SAFCA
Origin Energy Limited (Origin) has provided the following update on its operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Operational update In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Origin has focused on safely maintaining energy supply and reassuring customers it will support those who have been financially affected.
Origin will not disconnect any residential or small business customers in financial stress. This will apply until at least 31 July 2020.
There will also be no default listing for any customer who is having trouble paying and all late payment fees have been paused over the same period.
To date there has been no material impact on Origin's energy supply operations, with customers continuing to receive reliable electricity, natural gas and LPG supply. There are no issues with fuel availability.
Most of Origin's workforce is working from home and only roles critical to maintaining energy supply remain at site. Measures have been implemented to protect people and operations and support efforts to slow the spread of the virus in the community, including managing rosters to reduce contact between staff, social distancing, restricting visitors to sites and additional health screening.
Protocols continue to be reviewed and updated in line with the latest government advice. Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, "At the heart of our approach is the health and safety of our people, customers and the communities in which we operate, along with maintaining safe and reliable operations.
"I am incredibly proud of how our people have responded. Australians can continue to rely on their energy supply, while any of our customers who are in financial stress will receive the support they need.
"While Origin is clearly being affected by both COVID-19 and the significant reduction in oil prices, action taken in the last three years to simplify the business, significantly reduce upstream costs at Australia Pacific LNG and materially reduce debt, has put us in a financially resilient position.
"In our Energy Markets division, the uncertainty that exists around how long this situation will last and how deeply it will affect the economy and our customers, is making it challenging to accurately assess the impacts on provisioning for bad and doubtful debts.
"The impacts have not been material to date and can be absorbed within our existing FY2020 guidance range, however we are closely monitoring this situation and if things materially change, we will provide an update to shareholders," Mr Calabria said.