We do our best to provide you with a safe and continuous supply of electricity. We cannot however, guarantee you an uninterrupted supply as our electricity network is exposed to events beyond our reasonable control.
Common causes of interruptions are:
- vehicle or machinery accidents
- high winds, lightning strikes and storms
- debris or vegetation hitting powerlines
- animal life, such as birds or possums
- pole top fires
- equipment failure
- wiring or appliance faults on property
The power lines and/or network electrical equipment in your area may also need to be temporarily taken out of service for repairs, or to allow for maintenance, alterations or augmentation. Our aim is to provide safe and reliable power and this involves maintaining the equipment along the distribution network in your area.
Whenever possible, we will notify you if the electricity supply in your area requires maintenance.
We restore power to essential services first, such as hospitals. Then we make repairs that will restore power to the most customers and people who’ve been without power the longest.
This means we restore different circuits based on these priorities. So, if you see lights on across the road and your power is still out, it just means your circuit hasn’t been restored yet.
Our network has a back-up supply that will manage most faults, however if there is severe damage, then longer interruptions can occur.
Once an assessment is made by our crews, an estimated time of restoration (ETR) is displayed on our current outages page.
If you are on a life support system that requires electric supply, you should have a contingency plan for any power interruptions.
More information for life support customers can be found here.
Only open fridge and freezer doors when absolutely necessary as this will keep the food and air temperatures colder for longer.
Visit the Victorian Department of Health website for more information.
Most systems have an override (key or lever) to allow manual operation during a power outage. Check your user manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions. Some systems have battery backup and will continue to operate for a short time.
Switch off and unplug sensitive electrical and electronic equipment. This may include computers and audiovisual equipment.
Use generators with extreme caution and only to power appliances directly. Do not connect the output to the house switchboard or wiring as this can cause a safety risk for our workers.
Many security alarm systems have temporary back-up batteries that will keep your premises protected for a minimum of four hours if your battery is in good condition.
When power is restored, your alarm system should automatically reconnect to mains power. Some alarms will indicate that your power supply was interrupted but your alarm systems are usually not triggered by power outages. Consult your instruction manual or contact your alarm installer or manufacturer for more information.
Solar power systems automatically shut down if mains power goes off and restart when power is restored. For more information including Electricity Distribution Code requirement for owners of solar PV and other generating sources, see our Distribution code requirements page.
Load shedding is the term used to describe the deliberate switching off of electrical supply to parts of the electricity network, and hence to the customers in those areas. This practice is rare, but is a core part of the emergency management of all electricity networks.
Load shedding can be required when there is an imbalance between electricity demand (customers’ usage) and electricity supply (the ability of the electricity network to generate and transport the required amount of electricity to meet this demand). In Victoria, widespread load shedding is almost always a result of a deficit or restriction in generation and/or on the transmission network.
In order to protect the overall security of the national grid, it is sometimes necessary for AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) to direct the relevant market participants (distribution and transmission companies) to instigate a localised load shed event, effectively reducing electricity demand by quickly disconnecting consumers from the grid.