Planned power outages during the COVID-19 outbreak

26 March 2020

Planned power outages during the COVID-19 outbreak

We are closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and following Government advice. Now more than ever a strong commitment to a reliable and safe electricity supply is essential. That means some planned work on our lines will need to continue.  We recognise this is inconvenient for our customers at any time, particularly given customers may be self-isolating, working from home, looking after the children and with more food in the fridge and freezer than usual.

We understand this and apologise for this disruption but the community should be assured that the work we are doing now is critical to keeping their electricity supply reliable and safe over the next three to six months and into the future.

We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of planned outages on the community. As a result of the Covid-19 situation we have reviewed all our upcoming planned outages and are putting in place the following measures:

  • We have prioritised all work that will make supply reliable for essential services such as hospitals and medical centres, factories manufacturing medical products such as face masks and hand sanitiser, and supermarkets and other community services.
  • We have deferred a large amount of work that can be done safely at a later date. This has reduced the number of planned outages by around one third.  
  • Where possible, for those planned works that are critical and must go ahead we will reduce the duration to under five hours.

These changes will take effect from Sunday 29th March. If customers have received notification of an outage before Friday it will likely still go ahead. For outages after Sunday 29th March customers who have already received notification of an outage should assume it is critical work, and will still be going ahead unless notified otherwise.

Planned power outages are an important part of maintaining our network so that we can continue to deliver reliable power to homes and businesses. This work is critical both to ensuring the grid is more reliable to reduce the number of unplanned outages and safer as even now we prepare for the bushfire season next summer. 

Where we do have to go ahead with a planned power outage, we will provide as much notice as possible to help customers prepare. Customers will receive written notification and if they have registered their mobile phone number with their retailer, they will receive SMS notifications.

For tips and information on how to prepare for outages head, see our dedicated web page

We will continue to review as the situation changes. But for now, with a high likelihood that coronavirus will impact communities for months to come, we need to ensure the grid is operating at its best and proceed with critical planned maintenance works.