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Tips during a power outage

Power outages can be a frustrating experience, so here are some useful tips to make it a little easier.

Why do we have power outages?

At times we are required to plan power interruptions to enable us to upgrade the electricity network or perform planned maintenance. Common causes of power interruptions can include:

  • Severe weather, high winds and lightning strikes
  • Animals, such as birds, impacting on power lines
  • Vegetation or debris impacting on power lines
  • Damage to electrical infrastructure from vehicle or machinery accidents
  • Vandalism
  • Pole top fires
  • Bushfires

Supply restoration may require our crews to travel to multiple locations to inspect and repair damage to electrical assets. Download our app to view estimated restoration times as more information becomes available.

Prepare for a power outage

At times we are required to plan power interruptions to enable us to upgrade the electricity network or perform planned maintenance. Stay up to date on planned and unplanned power outages with our mobile app.

Learn more

What should I do if there is planned power outage in my area?

Planned power outages are necessary to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the power supply. Unless it is an emergency, we will give you at least three working days notice before a planned power interruption.

Before the maintenance outage is scheduled to begin, it’s a good idea to turn off and unplug electrical appliances, such as televisions, computers, air-conditioners, microwaves and reticulation systems, to protect them from power surges.

Check our website or download our app to see if there are any power outages in your area.  

Extended outages and severe weather

Follow these simple tips to prepare your family and home for extended power outages and extreme weather events.

  • Have your trees trimmed by a professional contractor to at least three metres from power lines.
  • Cordless phones do not operate without mains power, so keep a standard phone or mobile phone handy in case of an emergency.
  • Charge mobile phones and consider purchasing a portable charger for additional battery life.
  • Have a torch on hand, with spare batteries.
  • Freeze water for alternative refrigeration and turn your fridge to a cooler setting to help keep food colder for longer during an outage.
  • Power interruptions can affect water supplies, so it is a good idea to fill your laundry tub or bath with water if a cyclone or severe storm is imminent.
  • Clean up any loose material to ensure your yard is clear of unsecured objects like trampolines and outdoor furniture. They could blow around and cause damage to people, property and electrical infrastructure.
  • If you are going to be away during cyclone or storm season, turn off all sensitive electrical appliances before leaving to avoid damage from power surges. You may also want to consider emptying and unplugging your refrigerator and freezer to avoid spoilage.
  • Automatic garage doors, security gates, lift and escalators may not operate during a power interruption, so you may wish to make alternative arrangements.
  • If your electricity supply is eligible to be registered as a critical load, such as a hospital, shopping centre or aged care facility, we will give you advanced notice of planned outages, as well as priority when restoring power in the case of an outage.

Critical load and life support customers

Customers who rely on life support equipment can register to be given priority restoration in the event of an unplanned power interruption. After you register, you will need to renew your application with us every 12 months.

If your electricity supply is eligible to be registered as a critical load, such as a hospital, shopping centre or aged care facility, we will give you advanced notice of planned outages, as well as priority when restoring power in the case of an outage.

To register as a life support or critical load customer, complete the application form.

During a power outage

Before you report the power outage, see if there are any other lights or appliances working at your property.

Check your switch board to see whether any of your safety switches (Residual Current Devices) have tripped and check your main switch is in the ON position. It's also a good idea to check if your neighbours have power.

Report the outage by calling our 24 hour faults line on 13 23 51

  • Turn off all lights except one so that you will know when power has been restored.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances, such as televisions, computers, air-conditioners, microwaves and reticulation systems. This will protect against possible power surges or spikes during a severe weather event or when power is restored.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible, as food will stay fresh for several hours without power if seals are in good order.
  • Cordless phones do not operate without mains power, so keep a standard phone handy in case your mobile phone loses charge.

Do you have a generator?

  • Always run portable generators outside. Never use generators inside or in the garage as petrol and diesel-powered generators produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
  • Keep generators away from open windows to keep dangerous fumes away. 
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator’s outlet using a Residual Current Device (RCD) and a heavy-duty extension cord rated for outdoor use.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for earthing the generator.

After a power outage

Once power is restored, make sure you wait for a few minutes before turning on all your appliances. This will help to avoid overloading the electricity network, which may cause damage to your appliances.

If you are still without power, check your circuit breakers are in the ON position before reporting an outage.

What should I do once power is restored?

  • Use a licensed electrician to check any appliances that you think might have been damaged by the power failure. 
  • If you have solar panels, your electricity inverter will automatically switch off when power loss occurs and switch back on when power is restored. 
  • Ensure all alarm clocks, reticulation systems and security gates have been reset. If you have a monitored security alarm without a backup battery, advise your security company of the power interruption.

If you experience loss or damage resulting from an outage or fault that was caused by our negligence, or if your power supply was interrupted continuously for 12 hours or more, you may be eligible for compensation. We are unable to compensate for damage if the power interruption was attributed to events beyond our control, such as adverse weather conditions, vandalism, motor vehicle collisions with power poles and other such events. Find out if you are eligible to make a claim.

Report fallen powerlines to Horizon Power immediately on 13 23 51.
In an emergency situation, call 000.
My Account and app

Stay up to date on outages

View and search for planned and unplanned outages, keep track of your energy use, pay you bill and much more with our mobile app.

Make a claim

You may be eligible to make a claim

If for any reason your power supply is interrupted, and the interruption is caused by us, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Visit our Claims section for more information.

Stay safe this cyclone and storm season

Stay safe during a cyclone or storm

By following some simple steps before, during and after a cyclone or storm, you can help keep you and your family safe during an extreme weather event.