What to do when the power goes out
View our Outage Map to see current outages and upcoming planned maintenance.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, you may experience power outages. Outages can be caused by:
- severe weather such as damaging winds, lightning or extreme heat
- birds, possums or other animals on the lines
- motor vehicle incidents
- planned maintenance on the network to ensure the safety of our crews
- excavation of underground cables
- load shedding if directed by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
Whatever the reason, we are committed to restoring your power safely, and as quickly as possible.
Check the cause
Find out if the power is out for others in your area, or just at your property. Enter your address below:
If the power looks like it's on for everyone else, the circuit breaker or safety switch for your property may have tripped. Only report power outages to us if all switches in your meter box or fuse box are in the ON position. If a switch remains in the OFF position, there may be a fault with an appliance or an electrical circuit in the property.
You can also view the causes of High Voltage interruptions.
While the power's out
- Stay clear of any powerlines that have fallen and always assume they are live - report it immediately by calling 13 13 66.
- Visit our Outage Map to check when we expect the power to be back on at your address (if we’re already aware of an outage in your area).
- Don't use lifts. If you get stuck in a lift that has stopped because of a power outage, follow the emergency procedures listed in the lift or via loudspeakers. There is often a telephone or intercom inside the lift for emergencies.
- If driving during a power outage, be aware that street lights and traffic lights may not be working. Take extra care.
- A refrigerator and freezer will keep food cold longer if you keep the door closed. Avoid opening doors to check the contents. For more advice on food safety visit SA Health.
- If your home has an electric hot water system and you keep using it, the water will simply go cold. Once the power is back on, you may need to wait for the off-peak window (normally 11pm – 7am) for your system to reheat. If your system has a ‘boost’ button you can heat your water outside of this window, once power is restored.
- If you use an electric pressure pump, make sure that all taps are turned off. This will prevent flooding if power is restored when you are not home.
- Have a back up plan for any pets relying on power (such as tropical fish) to ensure their needs are met.
After an outage
For power outages longer than 12 hours, you may be eligible for a guaranteed service level payment. You don’t need to apply for the payment – we will send it within three months if you are eligible.
Prepare for future outages
It’s important to prepare for times when the power goes out unexpectedly, or as part of planned maintenance or upgrades. Be prepared for future outages:
- Sign up for SMS updates – this is the only way we can let you know if planned work is cancelled. We can also provide approximate power restoration times if the power goes out unexpectedly (during a storm, or due to a traffic incident).
- Always have a torch with charged batteries handy.
- Keep your mobile phone, tablet and/or laptop charged. You can power any USB charged device in your car by using a charger or by a portable power bank.
- Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get weather warnings and information about events affecting the power in your area.
During a weather event, listen to the local ABC radio station to keep up with the latest weather conditions.
Life Support Customers
If you or someone you know relies on medical equipment, here are some extra tips to best prepare and manage your needs during an outage:
- To register for Life Support a Medical Certificate will need to be completed by your Medical Practitioner and returned to us.
- Set up a back-up plan for when the power goes out.
- Make sure any medical equipment that needs power has battery back-up or a generator. Personal or medical alert systems may also be affected during an outage.
- Know the phone number and location of your nearest hospital.
- Keep emergency phone numbers for your friends, family, doctor, fire department, police and ambulance service handy.
- Always have a phone available that doesn’t rely on mains power. Cordless phones, and those connected to the NBN, don’t work during power outages.
- Be prepared to leave your home if an extended outage occurs.