Power Outages in Australia: Who to Call During an Outage
Power outages are a part of life and sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to prevent them. However, being prepared in case of an electricity or gas emergency or power outage and knowing what to do when one occurs can make them more manageable. Find out how to see if there is an outage in your area and who to call when there is, by reading more about power outages in Australia below and let Selectra help you learn how to manage your electricity and gas.
Power Outage in Australia: Emergency Phone Numbers by State
Electricity or Gas Emergencies For emergencies with immediate danger to life or property call the emergency number 000
If you’re experiencing a power outage, you need to contact your energy distributor.
While you purchase your electricity or gas from an energy provider, your energy distributor is the one actually supplying electricity or gas to your address. Electricity and gas distributors are also in charge of maintaining, upgrading, and repairing the power lines and gas mains.
You can find your energy distributor on your latest energy bill, or select your state from the list below.
Power Outage NSW & ACT
There are four electricity distributors in New South Wales and the ACT, so if you’re experiencing a power outage in Sydney, Central Coast, Wollongong, Canberra, or anywhere else across the state, you can find your energy distributor’s emergency number below.
For power outages in NSW or ACT, contact:
Inner, northern & eastern metropolitan Sydney and surrounds
13 13 88
Southern & western metropolitan Sydney
13 10 03
Country & regional NSW, some ACT
13 20 80
13 19 09
Power Outage Victoria
If you’re experiencing a power outage in Victoria, you can contact your electricity distributor’s emergency number.
There are five electricity distributors in Victoria. Experiencing a power outage in Melbourne? You can contact CitiPower at 131 280. Otherwise, you can find your electricity distributor below:
Outer northern and eastern suburbs and eastern Victoria
13 17 99
Melbourne City and inner suburbs
13 12 80
Northern and south-western suburbs
13 16 26
United Energy Distribution
Southern suburbs and Mornington Peninsula
13 20 99
Western suburbs and western Victoria
13 24 12
Power Outage Queensland
If there is a power outage in Queensland, you need to contact your energy distributor.
For power outages in Brisbane or Gold Coast, contact the Energex emergency number. For those who live in regional Queensland, you need to contact Ergon Energy.
Find the number to call for a power outage in Queensland below:
Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & surrounds
Faults13 62 62
Country & regional QLD
13 22 96
South Australia Power Outage
Stuck in a South Australia power outage?
Luckily, there is only one electricity distributor in South Australia so no matter where you live in the state you can call SA Power Networks emergency number at 131 366.
SA Power Networks
13 13 66
Power Outage Tasmania
If there is a power outage in Tasmania, you need to contact TasNetworks emergency number.
TasNetworks can be contacted by calling 132 004 for a power outage in Tasmania, as they are the only electricity distributor for the state.
13 20 04
How to Find Power Outages in Your Area
Your electricity distributor is in charge of maintaining the energy infrastructure in your distribution network and you can usually find known power outages in your area online.
Most electricity distributors have an Outage Finder, which allows you to check your address for any power outages in the area. This can include:
- Known and reported power outages
- Future maintenance
- Planned power outages
If you’re unsure of who your electricity distributor is, check your latest energy bill to find out.
What to do During a Power Outage
During a power outage, it’s important to take a few steps to keep yourself and your home safe.
- Avoid any exposed, fallen, or live wires
- Unplug appliances, especially sensitive ones like hairdryers, televisions, or computers
- Use a flashlight. Candles can spark a fire if there is a gas leak
- Contact your energy distributor to report the power outage
Once you’ve made sure you and your home is safe you need to find the source of the power outage.
- Check your safety switch to see if it tripped. If the safety switch didn’t trip…
- Check on your neighbours to see if they still have power. If they don’t have power either…
- Check for fallen trees, wires, or other obstructions outside
Always make note of any loud noises such as a crash, bang, or explosion. Any additional information you can report to your energy distributor will help them locate and fix the problem.
Was There a Power Outage or Did My Safety Switch Trip?
Occasionally, what you think is a power outage is actually your safety switch tripping.
A safety switch, also known as a circuit breaker, can trip due to power surges in your home, to protect the wiring from sparking or overheating. A power surge can damage sensitive appliances and electronics, which is why it’s important to invest in surge protectors.
If you’re unsure if a power outage actually occurred, you can usually find your safety switch inside your home. If you don’t know where your safety switch is, there are a few ways you can check if there was actually a power outage in your area:
- Check your lights and appliances
- Check if your neighbors still have power
- Check if nearby shops and streetlights have power
If the surrounding properties and area still have power, your safety switch probably tripped.
How to Prepare for Future Power Outages
It’s important to be prepared in case of a future power outage.
Without electricity, it can be hard to even contact your energy distributor to report a problem, since landlines and broadband might be down. However, it’s easy to prepare for power outages, especially if you live in an area that commonly experiences blackouts.
Be prepared for a power outage and make sure you:
- Have a fully-charged portable battery where you can easily find it
- Buy a backup battery or generator to keep important appliances, like your refrigerator, running
- Keep battery-operated flashlights, and spare batteries, in every room of your house
- Register any life support devices with your energy provider, and any medical alarms with the NBN
- Keep extra non-perishable food and a mechanical can opener easily available
- Use surge protectors for sensitive or important electronics
- Keep the name and emergency number of your energy distributor nearby
What if My Power is Out Because I Didn’t Pay My Energy Bill?
Disconnections due to nonpayment are a last resort for energy providers, thanks to Australian law.
Your first step when faced with a disconnection is always to contact your energy provider, to see what your options are. This might include a payment plan, differed payment, or help with getting you set up with energy concessions, an energy assistance payment, or a financial counsler.
If you haven’t paid your energy bill and you’re worried about your energy getting disconnected, there are a few things your energy provider needs to do beforehand.
Before your home is disconnected due to nonpayment, your energy provider must first:
- Send a reminder to pay any outstanding balance
- Send a disconnection warning
- Make an attempt to speak with you before disconnecting your residence
If your home is scheduled to be disconnected for nonpayment, there are certain parameters your energy provider must work within.
Electricity or gas disconnections cannot occur:
- On business days before 8am or after 3pm
- The day before or the day of a public holiday
- Between December 20th and December 31st
- During extreme weather conditions
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