Summer safety and bushfire preparedness

Plan to have the power you need this summer.

HomeSummer safety and bushfire preparedness

Our customers use more electricity in summer than any other season of the year. We’ve been working throughout the year, on critical maintenance and major projects, to make sure our network is reliable for you.

We know power outages, for any reason are inconvenient.

Despite all our planning and work behind the scenes, extreme weather can happen at any time and can cause extensive damage and outages, and bushfires can also damage power infrastructure and lead to power outages.

We know that this year we haven’t seen a typical lead-up to the summer season with widespread flooding across the state.

We’re expecting a late start to the fire season this year and are expecting few Total Fire Ban days to be declared. A mild summer may results in a reduced fire risk but we’re facing the prospect of sustained and widespread wet weather, more flooding and potential power outages.

Regardless, we’ll be ready for whatever comes our way this summer season, and you should be too.

Info for solar customers

For safety reasons, solar panels will stop operating during power outage events. This is to ensure that excess solar power is not being fed back into the grid and potentially endangering our lineworkers and the community.

Solar customers who want to access solar and excess power stored in batteries during these events should talk to a reputable solar installer about off-grid backup system solutions.

Rooftop Solar

Explainer: Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCLs)

Our bushfire mitigation programs are helping to make our communities safer. In the Powercor network we have REFCLs operating in 17 locations and expect to have them operating in 18 locations by this summer. The REFCLs will cover 115 feeder lines, 15,467km of powerlines and support 215,760 customers.

REFCLs are located at Bendigo, Woodend, Gisborne, Castlemaine, Colac, Camperdown, Winchelsea, Bendigo Terminal Station, Maryborough, Eaglehawk, Charlton, Ararat, Ballarat North, Ballarat South, Terang, Stawell and Koroit, with Merbein also expected to be operating on this summer.

Take a look at the video below to find out how REFCLs work to protect your community.

Explainer: outages and extreme heat

We operate our network’s safety devices on more sensitive settings during summer and on Total Fire Ban Days to minimise fire starts and this can lead to outages.

Outages on these days may take longer to restore, as our crews are required to patrol the lines after each fault.

The longest feeder length on the Powercor network is more than 1190km long, while the average length is about 137km. This compares to just over 3km in the CitiPower network.

Documents and resources