Power restored to customers following catastrophic storm

24 February 2024

AusNet customers impacted by the catastrophic storms which struck Victoria on 13 February have had their power restored, AusNet has confirmed.

Since the storms, AusNet crews have worked day and night to restore the network to more than 360,000 AusNet customers left without power as a result of the unprecedented storm damage to the network. At the peak of the storm, AusNet had 255,000 people off at the same time. 

”I’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we dealt with this unprecedented storm impact. I would also like to apologise for the time it took to restore power to some of our customers and the difficulty we had with our Outage Tracker,” AusNet Chief Executive Officer, David Smales, said.

“We understand how frustrating and inconvenient this outage was. But I want to assure our customers we worked as hard as we could to restore power after what was the biggest storm event we’ve ever experienced across our network in terms of customer impact. There was significant damage to power poles, transformers, and other infrastructure as a result of the wind and vegetation damage.

“More than 85 per cent of our customers were restored within 48 hours. However, the utter destruction and remote nature of our network made restoration extremely difficult. About 12,000 kilometres of our distribution network was surveyed and repaired, which is approximately a quarter of our distribution network,” Mr Smales said.

Reconnecting customers to power has involved the cooperation of hundreds of people from across AusNet’s business, its delivery partners, and with the help of emergency services and volunteers. AusNet currently estimates that over 95,000 personnel hours have been involved in the restoration of its network alone.
With the network restored, AusNet encourages anyone who does not have power to contact us (13 17 99), as there may be an issue that needs to be resolved at the property before we can reconnect them to the network. 

AusNet is currently working with community groups about how to support more readiness and resilience across our network for the future.

More than 200,000 AusNet customers will receive a Major Event Day payment which will be automatically credited to their electricity bill. This applies to AusNet customers who have had more than 12 hours of unplanned sustained interruptions. Further information can be found at Compensation and Service Standards.

Prolonged power outage payments from the Federal and Victorian governments have also been made available to customers who were without power for seven days from 13 February 2024. Customers have already started receiving these payments from AusNet with a quarter of eligible customers already processed for payment since the program opened last week. Further information can be found on our website: Prolonged Power Outage Payment.

About AusNet 

AusNet’s purpose is to connect communities with energy and accelerate a sustainable future. AusNet is the largest diversified energy network business in Victoria and owns and operates over $12 billion of regulated and contracted assets. It owns and operates three core regulated networks: electricity distribution, gas distribution and the state-wide electricity transmission network, as well as a significant portfolio of contracted energy infrastructure. It also owns and operates energy and technical services businesses (which trade under the name “Mondo”). AusNet engages over 1,300 employees to service over 1.5 million customers. www.ausnetservices.com.au