Essential Energy is worried about the safety of its meter readers.
Essential Energy is worried about the safety of its meter readers.

Spike in dog attacks on electricity meter readers

ESSENTIAL Energy is asking dog owners to help keep its workers safe by advising if they have any dogs that might pose a threat to electricity meter readers.

Over the past three years there has been an increase in incidents involving a dog, and 63 per cent of dog attacks in the 2019 financial year caused an injury.

Luke Jenner, general manager of customer and network services, said the data also showed that dog attacks on meter readers were more common in spring.

There have already been two dog attacks this month.

In one case, the victim required medical treatment.

"Everyone has the right to come home safe from their job," Mr Jenner said.

"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."

If a potentially dangerous dog is on a property and safe unhindered access is not guaranteed, 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.

"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," said Mr Jenner.

"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.

"We want people to have accurate meter reads but we will not endanger our own people, our contractors or other people in the community."