Restoring your power
When restoring power, our top priority is the safety of the public as well as our employees working on powerlines.
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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.
What we reconnect first
We restore power to our vast network of transmission lines, distribution powerlines, substations, neighbourhood transformers, and service wires to customers in order of priority.
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 powerlines serve a critical linking and switching function in our network. Protecting and repairing damage to these three components is our first priority.
- Essential facilities in our communities These include 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.
This sequence is common to the electricity industry both in Australia and worldwide.
Reconnecting your power
When electricity network repairs are completed, service lines that connect power to individual homes and businesses are repaired. We may have manually disconnected power to some premises due to damage. If this has happened at your place, these are the steps that will be taken to restore your power as safely as possible.
- Premises requires a safety check We will issue you a Form 3 or will place a notification sticker/tag in your switchboard or meter box.
- Arrange a safety inspection You, or your landlord, are required to arrange a safety inspection by a licensed electrical contractor.
- Make safe Your electrical contractor will conduct installation testing to verify your premises is safe for reconnection to power. They will lodge the necessary paperwork with us.
- Power is reconnected We will reconnect power to your premises as soon as possible.
Finding an electrician
Find a licenced electrical contractor online, through your local telephone directory or call the Master Electricians Australia (MEA) on 1300 889 198 or the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) on 1300 361 099.
Our Disaster Management 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.