Power outages FAQs
Power outages can happen for a number of reasons such as storms, lightning, car accidents, trees or branches falling onto powerlines or maintenance or upgrade works on the electricity network.
What should I do if my house or business has been disconnected due to flooding?
Customers with homes or businesses that have been inundated must engage a licensed electrical contractor to inspect their wiring, switchboard or mains connection. Once these checks have been made and any repairs carried out, the licensed electrical contractor should promptly submit an Electrical Work Request (EWR form) to us to allow power to be reconnected to the premises.
If power supply is available but an EWR form has not been received by us, power will be unable to be connected to the premises. Customers will be notified of this via a ‘Form 3’, which is usually left in the meter box or letter box. The owner of the affected home (including landlords) must then contact a licensed electrical contractor to carry out repairs and once safe they will submit an EWR form to allow power to be connected.
I've lost power. How do I find out what's going on?
Please check our Emergency Outages page for information about electricity supply in your area. Check restoration times if you’ve lost power unexpectedly. You can also find out if the power is scheduled to be turned off in your area by checking our Planned Outages page.
Want to stay informed? Register for SMS text notifications or email alerts for power outages in your area.
Please note: Any electrical faults, including brown outs, might be caused by fallen powerlines. Always assume fallen powerlines are live. Stay well clear and warn others. In case of a life threatening emergency, call Triple Zero (000) or 13 19 62.
I've lost power and can't find any outages relating to my premises. What can I do?
Call us on 13 62 62 any time of the day or night if you have a problem with your power supply that doesn’t appear on our Emergency Outages or Planned Outages pages. Precise details will help our emergency crews to restore power.
In case of a life threatening emergency, call triple zero (000) or 13 19 62. Any electrical faults, including brown outs, might be caused by fallen powerlines. Always assume fallen powerlines are live. Stay well clear and warn others. Report it to us immediately.
Who gets planned power outage notices?
We only notify customers who will be affected. It doesn’t matter if you have underground power, overhead lines or live in a metro or regional area, everyone gets planned outages as a part of our scheduled maintenance program.
Register for SMS text notifications or email alerts for power outages in your area.
How will I know when you are working in my area?
For planned outages, you'll receive a notification to your home or business 4 business days in advance, as well as on the morning of the planned outage, and if the outage is cancelled.
We only notify customers who will be affected. You may also Register for SMS text notifications or email alerts for power outages in your area.
Note: During major weather events, planned work may need to be rescheduled to enable us to undertake emergency works instead. You may not receive notifications for cancelled/postponed planned work due to emergency response. Planned outage notifications will recommence once we are no longer in an emergency event . You can view updates on Outage Finder.
What do the SMS and email notifications look like?
Our SMS and email notifications will come to you directly from an Energex mobile phone or email account.
Remember, you can choose whether you receive your planned outage notifications via email, SMS or mail. Call us on 13 12 53 to change your preference or register for SMS text notifications or email alerts for power outages in your area.
Can I register to receive text messages about outages?
Yes, you can register for SMS text notifications or email alerts for power outages in your area.
For unplanned outages, you'll receive a text message when the power goes out and again when it has been restored.
For planned outages, you'll receive a text message 4 business days in advance and another text reminder on the day your power is going to be switched off.
Will the work start and finish at the times I have been notified?
We may be on site prior to and after the date specified to prepare for the required works.
Planned work may be cancelled or run overtime due to unforeseen circumstances, including safety, weather, and faults. If this happens, we will endeavour to contact you.
You can stay up to date with outages affecting your area, including power restoration times, by visiting Outage Finder.
Can I change my contact details?
Yes, your contact details are provided to us by your retailer, so it’s important you keep them up to date with your email address, mobile number, and postal address details. Your retailer is the company that sends your electricity bill.
How do I prepare for a planned power outage?
- Power fluctuations may occur when power is restored. Turn off and unplug sensitive electrical appliances. Leave a light on so you’ll know when power is back on.
- Your telephone and internet services over the nbn™ network are unlikely to work. Electronic equipment will need its own separate battery backup to work. Make sure you have a plan B with a fully charged mobile phone and portable mobile phone charger.
- This also applies to personal medical alarms. Most medical alarms are connected to the NBN through a phone landline, so if you have a black out, the landline, internet services and medical alarms will not work.
- Your modem may not work without power, but you can still access the internet, school or work files by connecting via a hotspot on your mobile phone.
- Keep food safe by setting your refrigerator to 5 degrees or below to ensure food stays as fresh as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. An unopened, full freezer will retain its temperature well enough to preserve food for two days.
- If you have solar panels, you may wish to check that your solar inverter is back on after the outage. Check your operating manual for instructions on restarting the inverter if necessary.
- If you have automatic garage doors or security gates, know how to operate them manually or leave your car parked outside.
What do I need to do if I’m on life support equipment?
If you’re a customer registered with life support equipment, you'll receive a notification to your home 4 business days in advance, on the morning of the planned outage, and if the outage is cancelled.
We will also contact you by phone to confirm you have received a notification about the planned power outage. If you don’t want to receive a follow up phone call, please let us know by our contact form or call us on 13 12 53 to opt out of this service.
It's essential that you keep us, and your electricity retailer informed of any changes at your premises, including changes to your contact details, telephone number and postal address.
In case of a planned power outage, it’s important for you to consider appropriate options with your doctor or Life Support equipment supplier.
You won't be able to use your landline phone if it's plugged into a NBN modem and there's a power outage. Should this happen, you must enact your Life Support plan of action.
If you require your life support equipment during the outage, please make sure you have enough back up supply or are able to make alternate arrangements.
In case of a life-threatening emergency, call triple zero (000) or 13 19 62.
Will my personal medical alarm work?
If you are connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN), be aware that if your power is interrupted, your telephone and internet services over the nbn™ network are unlikely to work. Electronic equipment will need its own separate battery backup to work.
Make sure you have a plan B with a fully charged mobile phone and portable mobile phone charger.
This also applies to personal medical alarms. Most medical alarms are connected to the NBN through a phone landline, so if you have a black out, the landline, internet services and medical alarms will not work.
If you or anyone in your family has a medical alarm, contact nbn™ to check if the alarm is registered and ask about battery backup. More information is available at nbnco.com.au
Can you provide me with a generator during a planned outage?
We understand that planned electricity outages can create inconvenience to impacted businesses and residents. While we strive to provide our customers with a reliable power supply, we are not in a position to provide alternative power supply to customers during these interruptions, and are not responsible for the costs associated with any work or alterations that a customer makes at their switch board.
Generators may be provided to priority essential service customers (for example hospitals and aged care facilities) and those with life support equipment in their home.
If you would like us to consider your situation, please contact us on 13 12 53 before the planned outage.
Will you compensate me for turning off my power?
Compensation is not available if we have notified you of the planned outage in advance. Don’t forget to check your email inbox or text messages if that is your preferred method of notification.
Why didn’t my power go off?
Work may be cancelled at short notice for several reasons including safety, weather and faults. If this happens, we will endeavour to contact you.
It could be that our network information for your property isn’t accurate. Please call us on 13 12 53 if this happens. We will check that your property is mapped correctly.
What happens if I wasn’t notified of the planned outage?
If you believe that you were not notified of the planned outage, our Guaranteed Service Levels team will investigate and advise if you are entitled to make a claim.
Will the power outage affect my appliances?
We recommend turning off and unplugging all appliances with sensitive electrical components, such as computers, televisions, DVD players, microwaves, etc.Leave a light on so you can see when the power comes back on.
Will my landline phone still work?
We recommend ensuring your mobile is fully charged. A cordless phone will not work during the outage.
Keep in mind that any equipment connected via the NBN broadband access network will not work during a power outage.
For more information on how each form of technology connected to the NBN broadband access network is affected when the power goes out, visit the NBN website.
The power is out and my mobile phone battery is running low. What should I do?
Use your mobile phone sparingly and turn it off between uses. Try a car charger or make sure you're prepared for storm season by including a battery-operated mobile phone charger in your storm kit.
Will the food in my refrigerator last?
If the doors remain closed, refrigerated food can stay cool for several hours depending on:
- Age and size of the refrigerator
- Time elapsed since you last opened the fridge door
- Amount of food in the fridge and the room temperature
If your fridge has been off for more than 4 hours, you should assume it is about 5 degrees. Your perishable foods may become contaminated if they have been stored above 5 degrees for more than 2 hours. Frozen food can remain safe for up to 24 hours.
To aid the running of the fridge, you can freeze plastic bottles of liquid or keep containers of ice for emergency usage. Purchasing blocks of ice is also recommended. Bulk frozen food will keep cold longer than an empty freezer if you don't open the door.
For more information on food safety, visit Food Standards Australia.
I have a water pump. Will my water and toilet facilities still work?
Your water and toilet facilities will continue to work if you don't use an electric water pump.If electricity is required to have your water running or to refill your toilet for flushing, we suggest filling your bath tub with a reserve of water prior to the planned power outage for use during it.
I have an aquarium. How will I keep the water oxygenated?
If you have a fish tank, you can use a plastic container to scoop out some water and slowly pour it back into the tank which effectively oxygenates the water. Speak to your local pet shop during extended power interruptions or if you have any further queries about oxygenating your fish tank.
Will my security alarm still work if the power is off?
This depends on the type of security system installed at your property. Some alarms will have a backup battery which allows the system to continue working. Please check the battery is fully charged.
If you are unsure how your security system works please check the manual or contact the manufacturer.
I have a remote control garage or electric gate. Will I be able to get out of my property?
All electric garage doors must come with manual release (normally a pull cord) and electric gates come with a manual release key.This will allow you to open the door to remove your vehicle.If you are unable to locate this, please check the manual or contact the manufacturer.
How do I heat my baby's bottle during the power outage?
If you do not have power, you can use hot water boiled on your barbecue to heat your child's bottle. Otherwise, your local fast food outlet or convenience store may assist in filling your bottle with hot water.
What to do after the power comes back on?
If you're experiencing dull or flickering lights, 'brown out', low voltage or partial supply, don’t touch your switchboard or anything metal in your home. If it’s possible to easily access power points, turn off and unplug appliances. Call us on 13 62 62 immediately.
If you experience tingles or shocks from an electrical appliance or water taps, call us immediately on 13 19 62, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and call your licensed electrical contractor to check your wiring immediately.
Are planned outages necessary?
Yes. Think of it like servicing a car - regular maintenance improves performance and safety. Planned outages could be to upgrade streetlights, connect a new hospital or business or even to connect electric vehicles charging stations or introducing new grid technologies.
This is not an exhaustive list of all safety matters that need to be considered. Whilst care is taken in the preparation of this material, Energex does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of information.
Energex will not be responsible for any loss, damage or costs incurred as a result of any errors omissions or misrepresentations in relation to the material in this document or for any possible actions ensuing from the information contained above.