Restoring your power
When restoring power, our top priority is the safety of the public as well as our employees working on powerlines.
Lightning, cyclones, bushfires, storms, floods, accidents, fallen trees, animals all have one thing in common. They can cause your power to be interrupted. At Ergon Energy we understand that power outages are no small issue. They can seriously disrupt your life. This is why we do everything we can to protect our network from outages and minimise their duration. However, it's important to understand that power outages are not only a major inconvenience; they can also be hard to fix. This is why it can sometimes take a while for power to be fully restored, especially following a major storm. When we set out to restore power, our priority is always the safety of both our employees and the public. First we work to restore high voltage transmission lines that feed power into our network over large geographic areas. Then we focus on essential service in our communities like hospitals, police, ambulances, fire brigades, water treatment facilities and pumping stations. Then finally we make repairs to local distribution power lines to restore power to customers' homes and businesses. Often, all three of these steps are being worked on simultaneously, however the more damage to our network, the longer this may take. Remember in the event of a power outage call us on 13 22 96 and stay safe. If there are fallen powerlines, stay well away, warn others and make sure everyone in your home is safe. Call triple zero immediately or call 13 16 70. If you want to find out when power will be reconnected, check our outage finder http://www.ergon.com.au/outagefinder.
Our restoration plan
Our Disaster Management Plan and its supporting regional plans are comprehensive and highly detailed. They direct the activities of hundreds of our employees and spell out clearly the preparations and procedures to be followed, depending on the extent of the damage to the network, when there has been a power outage.
Our plans emphasise public and employee safety, the protection of our network and the restoration of power supply.
Damage assessment - finding out how badly the network has been damaged - must be done quickly and accurately once the storm or threat has passed.
Major substations and high voltage powerlines that support large electrical loads to customers are checked first and must be restored to service as soon as possible.
This initial assessment helps to develop an estimate of the number of field crews required, resources needed and the time estimated to complete restoration.
Local field crews in the affected area are prepared in advance and are on alert. If necessary, crews from outside the area may be mobilised quickly and brought in to assist with the restoration effort.
Our restoration process
We restore power to our vast network of transmission lines, distribution powerlines, substations, neighbourhood transformers, and service wires to customers in order of priority.
We use a sequence that is common to the electricity industry both in Australia and worldwide.
Our focus is on first restoring power to public health and community facilities and to the greatest number of customers as quickly as possible.
The typical sequence in the restoration process is as follows. However, many of these activities take place simultaneously.
- Transmission, substation equipment and main distribution powerlines. High voltage transmission lines supply power to large numbers of customers and to large geographic areas. Distribution substations and distribution powerlines serve a critical linking and switching function in our system. Protecting and repairing damage to these three components is our first priority.
- Essential facilities in our communities including emergency service and critical community infrastructure such as hospitals, police, ambulance, fire brigade, water treatment facilities, and pumping stations. Efforts to restore power to these facilities are a priority.
- Distribution powerlines. Our next priority is to restore power to the largest number of customers as quickly as possible. This involves distribution powerlines which connect to individual locations such as powerlines in local streets. Repairs are then made to distribution transformers and, finally, service wires to individual homes and businesses.
What to do if your power goes out
If your power goes out, from the safety of your own home or workplace, look out the window or contact neighbours to check if the interruption is affecting only your property or is more widespread.
If you can see or hear something that could help identify the problem, like hanging powerlines or a loud bang, stay well clear and contact our Faults line on 13 22 96. Precise details will assist our emergency crews to restore power.
Remember, during a storm or cyclone or when the power is out, telephone lines and mobile phone networks may be congested or damaged so please be patient.