Portable generators


Interruptions and portable generation

Ausgrid strives to provide customers with an electricity supply that is as safe and reliable as possible. However, despite our best efforts, interruptions sometimes occur, often for reasons beyond our control.

When a power outage occurs a portable generator can allow some normal activities to continue: for example, a portable generator can be used to power household appliances, such as a fridge, a kettle or a phone.

Portable generators should always be used with extreme caution. If you are considering buying or renting a portable generator, or have already bought or rented one, please read the Portable Generator Safety Factsheet for more information.

Does Ausgrid provide portable generators to customer’s experiencing a power outage?

Ausgrid does not generally supply customers with portable generation during an interruption. In certain circumstances, Ausgrid may supply residential customers with portable generation (outlined below). Ausgrid will not supply portable generation to commercial and industrial customers.

Ausgrid’s ability to deploy portable generation is limited and during an interruption, it is possible that not all customers that fall within the circumstances below can be supplied with portable generation. The provision of portable generation for residential customers affected by an interruption is at Ausgrid’s discretion.

Please note that Ausgrid does not supply portable generation to commercial and industrial customers.

Portable Generator

Circumstances where portable generation will be considered

Safety of portable generation

Portable generation will only be provided where Ausgrid, using a risk based approach, has assessed that is safe to do so for the particular individual residential customer in their circumstances. 

Which residential customers can be supplied with portable generation?

Ausgrid will consider supplying portable generation to an individual residential customer’s residence in the following circumstances:

Planned interruptions:

  • where Ausgrid has assessed that the interruption involves a customer whose life is at significantly increased risk from the interruption.  Note: All registered life support customers should have their own action plan to manage interruptions and will have at least 4 clear days' notice of the interruption.

Unplanned interruptions:

  • where Ausgrid has assessed that the interruption involves a customer whose life is at a significantly increased risk from the interruption;
  • where power has been restored to an area and an isolated individual residential customer in that area still has not had their power restored and Ausgrid has assessed that its ability to restore power to that customer in a timely fashion will be significantly delayed; or
  • the substantive outage is expected to be greater than 48 hours and the customers affected are individual residential customers who are unlikely to have their power restored for at least seven days after the interruption first occurred.

Ausgrid may need to prioritise the supply of portable generation due to limited resources.  In those circumstances, Ausgrid will decide in its absolute discretion how to deploy portable generation to eligible customers.

Matters that will be considered in portable generation deployment 

Matters that will be considered in determining if portable generation should be deployed include:

  • Whether there are any safety risks to Ausgrid staff, customers or the community arising from providing the portable generation (e.g., electrical hazards, exhaust fumes or fire hazards), which may mean that the generator cannot be practically and safely connected and/or operated; and
  • Whether there are any environmental considerations that would prevent the portable generation from being provided (e.g., noise or pollution from fuel or exhaust products).