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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY THE VICTORIAN BUSHFIRES

The recent bushfires have caused extensive damage, including to the electricity network. In total 1,000km of powerlines were affected with 7,00 customers off supply as a result of the damage. Our priority is safely connecting customers to mains supplies as soon as possible.

Our crews have worked tirelessly to reconnect the vast majority of customers safely, but there are a small number of customers who remain off supply, as there is still limited or no access to their areas due to ongoing fire activity or other safety issues. We are also putting in place special assistance measures for those customers who have been impacted. 

We have made efforts to contact all of these customers to provide special assistance where this is possible. If you remain without power and have not been contacted by one of our customer support team please call our dedicated customer support line on 1300 561 171. 

Our thoughts are with the people and families impacted by the devastation of the Victorian fires. We know that some of our customers are still without power and we are working tirelessly to get them back on as soon as possible.

Do not approach damaged or fallen powerlines as they may be live. If you’re experiencing a power fault or emergency or see a powerline down please call our 24-hour Faults and Emergencies line on 131 799.

YOUR SAFETY

If you’re returning to your property in a bushfire impacted area, please take extreme care and do not approach damaged or fallen powerlines as they can cause severe injury or death. Our crews are working around the clock to restore power and replace damaged infrastructure where possible. Access to fire areas has been limited due to safety issues. Please seek the advice of police and other emergency services on whether it is safe to return to your property.


GETTING YOUR POWER BACK ON

Our crews are starting to reconnect power in bushfire affected areas and we’ll be working street by street to assess the damage and commence restoration activities. Many areas are badly damaged and we still can’t access them, because they are not safe. This may mean we haven’t yet been able to restore your power.

Where possible, we’ll connect you as soon as electricity supply is restored to your area. There may have been some damage to your property. If we can’t get your power back on, we ‘ll leave a letter at your property advising of that. You’ll need to contact a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC)* before the electricity connection can be made.

If your property has been damaged/destroyed and you want to have a temporary electricity supply connected to your property, to power a caravan for example, please contact an REC to arrange this.

Once your REC has completed works on your property, they will call the retailer to arrange the connection. The REC will supply the retailer an Electrical Works Request (EWR) and a Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) for connection to be made.

If you don’t know who your retailer is please call the Customer Bushfire Support line on 1300 561 171, Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm AEDT, and we’ll help.

If you no longer want power to your property, e.g. completely disconnected due to fire damage, please call the Customer Bushfire Support line.

*If you have trouble contacting a REC, have questions regarding installation hazards or the use of generators, please visit the National Electrical and Communications Association website at https://neca.asn.au/vic/find-neca-electrician or you can call them on 03 9645 5533.   


CUSTOMER BUSHFIRE SUPPORT LINE

We’ve set up a Customer Bushfire Support line for our customers affected by the bushfires across the state. Please call 1300 561 171 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday AEDT. If you’re experiencing a power fault or emergency and need help now, please call our 24-hour Faults and Emergencies line on 131 799. 


Previous daily updates

23 January 2020 

22 January 2020 

21 January 2020 

20 January 2020 

19 January 2020 

18 January 2020 

17 January 2020 

16 January 2020 

15 January 2020

KEEPING YOU INFORMED

For the most up to date information on outages in bushfire affected AusNet Services areas go to www.outagetracker.com.au

Keep an eye out on AusNet Services’ Facebook page for community updates.

For general information about bushfire affected areas go to www.emergencies.vic.gov.au/respond



CUSTOMER SUPPORT INITIATIVES

AusNet Services are putting in place special measures to support customers impacted by the bushfire event. You do not need to do anything at this stage, we will contact you with more information. If you have experienced loss or damage as a result of the bushfires, you should first contact your insurer.
 
Under the Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) scheme customers who experience an extended electricity outage may be eligible for payments. More information on GSL’s can be found here. If you are in a bushfire affected town and you were eligible for a 2019 GSL (inclusive of the bushfire period) then you will be receiving your GSL directly from AusNet Services.
 
Majority of customers will be receiving a voucher from Australia Post which can be redeemed for cash from participating post offices. AusNet Services will also SMS a copy of the redemption voucher to customers who have registered a mobile phone number with their retailer. Companies will be receiving their payment via cheque.
 
Each year a portion of every customer’s electricity bill is allocated to the network business in their area to fund maintenance and improvements to poles and wires. To acknowledge the impact these extended outages have had on customers AusNet Services will rebate this network charge ($118 - $130) to customers who have been without power for more than 7 consecutive days as a result of the bushfires. This payment will be included with your GSL payment.
 
AusNet Services has also committed to waive our standard connection fees for customers whose property has been damaged or destroyed by the bushfires when power is ready to be restored to their property. As communities start to rebuild many customers will be faced with extensive damage to their electricity meters and to electrical infrastructure on their property.
 
For further enquiries or assistance with making a claim, call the Customer Bushfire Support line on 1300 561 171, Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm AEDT.  
  • Further information on Bushfire Support Payment
    1. What is the Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) Scheme?
    The GSL Scheme compensates customers who experience long or frequent outages over a calendar year and is usually credited on your retailer bill the following year.  AusNet Services is making this payment directly to customers in bushfire affected areas.  GSL Scheme rules, categories and amounts are determined by the Essential Services Commission.  You can read more about the GSL Scheme in our customer charter at: www.ausnetservices.com.au/CustomerCharter

    2. What is the Network Standing Charge?
    A network standing charge is how electricity network operators fund supplying, maintain and improving infrastructure.  This is charged through your retailer and makes up a component of the ‘Supply Charge’ on your electricity bill.  We are giving customers who were off supply for 7 consecutive days or more as a result of the bushfires a credit of the charges paid in 2019. 

    3. Can someone else collect the payment on my behalf?
    No, only the registered account holder on your electricity bill can collect the payment.  If you’re unable to collect the payment due to personal circumstances, please contact us on 1300 561 171 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.

    4. The name on my account is incorrect, what should I do?
    AusNet Services has obtained your account details from your electricity retailer (the company that issues your electricity bill).  If the details on this letter are not correct, you should contact your electricity retailer to have them updated.  Once this has been completed, contact us on 1300 561 171 (between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week) so we can arrange payment.

    5. What if I don’t have a valid ID?

    To redeem your payment, you must have a valid photo ID on which your name matches the name at the top of this letter.  If the name does not match or you do not have a valid photo ID, contact us on 1300 561 171 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.

    6. What if I don’t collect the payment by 5 April 2020?
    If you don’t collect your support payment before 5 April 2020, we will notify your electricity retailer who will credit the GSL payment amount to the energy bill you receive from them.  If you were without power supply for seven days as a result of the bushfires and are entitled to a credit of your network standing charge, we’ll be in touch to inform you how this will be paid.

    7. Why has my neighbour received a different payment to me?
    We have calculated your payment based on the GSL Scheme amount you are eligible for and the portion of the network standing charge AusNet Services receives from you.  These figures can differ based on several factors, such as if you have a solar connection and the number or duration of outages experienced.  If you have reviewed our customer charter and believe the amount paid to you does not align to what you may be entitled to, contact us on 1300 561 171 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.

    8. What other bushfire support measures has AusNet Services put in place?
    AusNet Services has also committed to waive our standard connection fees for customers whose property has been damaged or destroyed by the bushfires when power is ready to be restored to their property. 
     
  • Participating Post Offices and outlets in your area

    This payment can be collected at a participating Post Office or Australia Post outlet using Australia Post’s Bank@Post facilities.  The following list contains participating Post Office’s and Australia Post outlets in your area.

    East Gippsland

    Post Office

    Address

    Bairnsdale Post Shop

    16-18 Nicholson Street, BAIRNSDALE, VIC, 3875

    Benambra LPO

    27 Gibbo Street, BENAMBRA, VIC, 3900

    Bruthen LPO

    47 Main Street, BRUTHEN, VIC, 3885

    Buchan LPO

    57 Main Road, BUCHAN, VIC, 3885

    Cann River LPO

    15 Monaro Highway, CANN RIVER, VIC, 3890

    Ensay LPO

    5080 Great Alpine Road, ENSAY, VIC, 3895

    Delegate LPO

    46 Bombala Street, DELEGATE, NSW, 2633

    Genoa LPO

    11 Alexanders Road, GENOA, VIC, 3891

    Johnsonville LPO

    1761 Princes Highway, JOHNSONVILLE, VIC, 3902

    Lindenow LPO

    147-149 Main Road, LINDENOW, VIC, 3865

    Mallacoota LPO

    Shop 2 60 Maurice Avenue, MALLACOOTA, VIC, 3892

    Marlo LPO

    14 Argyle Parade, MARLO, VIC, 3888

    Nicholson LPO

    921 Princes Highway, NICHOLSON, VIC, 3882

    Nowa Nowa LPO

    55-57 Princes Highway, NOWA NOWA, VIC, 3887

    Omeo LPO

    155 Day Avenue, OMEO, VIC, 3898

    Orbost LPO

    84 Nicholson Street, ORBOST, VIC, 3888

    Swifts Creek LPO

    6830 Great Alpine Road, SWIFTS CREEK, VIC, 3896


    North East Victoria

    Post Office

    Address

    Bright LPO

    Shop 2 & 3 82-84 Gavan Street, BRIGHT, VIC, 3741

    Corryong LPO

    44 Hanson Street, CORRYONG, VIC, 3707

    Fall Creek LPO

    17 Bogong High Plains Road, FALLS CREEK, VIC, 3699

    Jingellic LPO

    3208 River Road, JINGELLIC, NSW, 2642

    Khancoban LPO

    Khancoban Shopping Centre, KHANCOBAN, NSW, 2642

    Mount Beauty LPO

    2a Kiewa Crescent, MOUNT BEAUTY, VIC, 3699

    Tawonga LPO

    52-54 Kiewa Valley Highway, TAWONGA, VIC, 3697

    Tawonga South LPO

    221 Kiewa Valley Highway, TAWONGA SOUTH, VIC, 3698

    Walwa LPO

    47 Main Street, WALWA, VIC, 3709

    Wodonga Post Shop

    196-198 High Street, WODONGA, VIC, 3690