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A little bit of planning goes a long way

We're working hard to make the electricity network safe and reliable. Extreme heat and high demand put the grid under pressure. This means outages will happen and it’s important that we’re all power prepared this summer. A little bit of planning goes a long way, read our simple tips below to stay safe and prepare for outages.

 

  • Preparing for an outage

    It’s important that you consider how a power outage might affect your home or business. Take some time to ask yourself these questions:


    • How could a power outage affect my home?
    • What are activities we can take to prepare for an outage, and stay safe during and after an outage?
    • Are our plans up to date and ready to be activated?

    If you’re a registered life support customer, speak to your doctor or if you’re running a business dependant on energy, have a chat to your electricity supplier to see if a generator is right for your business.

     

    Before an outage

    • Prepare an emergency supply kit with torch, radio, spare batteries and phone charger as well as non-perishable food and water (particularly if you use an electric water pump)
    • Register your mobile phone number with your retailer. That way you can receive SMS updates to stay up to date with planned and unplanned outages in your area.

    • Make sure your mobile phones are fully charged and you have battery packs on hand for an outage situation.
    • Keep a battery-operated radio and torch on hand (as well as spare batteries) so that you can receive important information in the event of an outage

     


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    • Know how to manually open your electric garage door or gate. Some 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.


    • Adjust the ‘autosave’ function on your computer for more frequent back-up of important documents.
    • Talk to your building manager if you live or work in a building that has elevators or electronic card access, to understand how they would deal with the possibility of prolonged outages


    • Regularly prune trees growing close to private electricity lines on your property when it is safe to do so. We recommend hiring a qualified contractor to keep yourself safe from electrical hazards.

    During an outage

    • Stay well away from fallen powerlines and immediately report a fault.
    • Once you have ensured your own safety, look after those around you who may be vulnerable and sensitive to heat.
    • Listen to a battery-operated radio for weather and power updates.
    • Turn all power points off at the wall during an outage and leave one light on to alert you when power is restored.
    • Move refrigerated food to the freezer. Keep the doors to the fridge and freezer closed, and only open them when absolutely necessary. More tips on food safety.
    • Use generators with extreme caution and only to power appliances directly. Do not connect the output to the switchboard or wiring as this can cause a safety risk for people out in the field working to restore your power . Consult a registered electrician before connecting a generator at your property.

    After an outage

    • Check your alarm system has re-started when power is restored. If your system has temporary back-up batteries, how long will they work for? Consult your instruction manual or contact your alarm installer or manufacturer for more information
    •  For more tips and advice to prepare for outages and for specific tips on storm outages please visit our Tips and Advice page
  • Energy saving tips to reduce energy demand, and your bills!

    With demand higher than ever before you can help to keep the power flowing for everyone. These tips will help reduce your energy use and save on bills! 

    On really hot days:

     

    1. Consider setting your air conditioner above 23°C. Every degree lower can add 5-10% to the unit’s overall energy consumption.
    2. Pre-cool your house during the day to help the network during peak hours.
    3. Keep curtains and window shades closed during the day to keep the heat out. Open your curtains at night.
    4. Set your fridge temperature to 4-5°C. Below this it costs more to run, and older fridges can frost up.
    5. Use cold water for the washing machine and save up to 80% in energy.
    6. Dry your clothes outside when you can, solar and wind energy is free.
    7. Fans use less energy and can operate at a fraction of the running cost of split system and refrigerated air conditioners. Think about how you can reduce the number of days you use air conditioning.
    8. Regularly check the air filters in your air conditioners and lint filter in your dryer. Cleaning the filters makes your appliances run more efficiently, and in the case of the lint filter on your dryer, also reduces fire risk.
    9. Choose energy-saving lightbulbs. LED bulbs use around 85% less energy than halogen bulbs, but still produce the same amount of light.
    10. Check the insulation in your roof. Some ceiling insulation can lose its effectiveness as it settles and compacts over time, so check whether it needs to be topped up or replaced altogether.
    11. The next time you purchase an appliance, consider buying one with a high energy star rating to save on energy costs in the long term.
    12. Consider switching to solar! Rooftop solar is now one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce your energy bills; solar generally pays for itself within 5 years and much less than that if you qualify for the Victorian Solar Homes program – to check if you are eligible for a Solar Homes rebate, go to solar.vic.gov.au.
  • Bushfire tips

    During a bushfire, your power and gas may be interrupted even if your property isn’t directly affected. For this reason, your bushfire contingency plan should factor in a possible loss of gas and electricity.


    Supply considerations

    Some things to consider as part of your bushfire plan are:


    • The CFA or MFB may disconnect your electricity and/or gas to fight a bushfire, or to prevent other fires from starting.
    • Activation of automatic disconnection switches may cut off your electricity supply in high winds or if a tree branch falls on powerlines.
    • Damage to powerlines and poles may cause a power outage, meaning you won’t be able to use appliances and communications, such as your telephone, lights, television and radio.
    • Sprinkler systems, hoses and pumps may not operate if your mains water supply is affected, or if these systems are powered by electricity.
    • Reconnection of your electricity may take up to several hours or even days, depending on the time it takes to access the area, conduct repairs and ensure safety.


    Plan to survive

    • Establish a bushfire contingency plan – be clear about when to leave.
    • Install an alternative water supply and back-up generator to pump water.
    • Keep a mobile phone handy and try to keep the battery fully charged.
    • Ensure you have access to battery-operated torches, radios and spare batteries.
    • Contact your local community fireguard or CFA to assist with your bushfire plan.
    • Review your plan each year and check all related equipment on a regular basis.

     

     

     

     

Do you depend on electricity for medical needs? 

                          

 

If you rely on continuous power supply for life support equipment, the information provided in this section is designed to help you identify the source of any problem related to you power supply.