Power Outage Support

Preparing for a planned power outage

To ensure we supply your electricity to a safe standard, our equipment must be maintained or replaced from time to time. We may need to interrupt your power supply to carry out essential maintenance, connections and upgrades safely.

In this section

How we notify you of planned power outages

If we plan to do upgrades or maintenance work that affect your power supply, we’ll notify you at least four business days prior to the interruption with information on the date, time and duration.

  • If you are the primary electricity account holder (the name on the account) and have a valid mobile number registered, you’ll receive an SMS to notify you of a planned power outage in addition to a planned outage notification letter.
  • Registered life support customers will receive a notification letter in the post as well as an SMS if a valid mobile number is registered.
  • On the day before the planned outage, you’ll receive an SMS reminder.
  • If the outage is cancelled, you’ll receive an SMS to inform you.
We are switching off planned power outage postal notifications from August 2023 for non life support customers. Find out more about the change.

Didn’t receive an SMS outage notification? Find out more about how we notify you.

Preparing for a power outage

Use this checklist of simple precautions to prepare for a power outage.

Life support medical equipment

Check your life support equipment has sufficient battery charge for the duration of the power outage. Customers relying on medical equipment should prepare an action plan for when the power goes off. You can use the Action Plan Checklist as a guide.

Devices and appliances:

  • Charge your mobile devices, laptops and any portable batteries.
  • Keep a torch or low volt portable light and spare batteries.
  • If you're at home, leave a light on to tell you when the power is back on.
  • Remember that lifts will not work during a power outage, so make sure you have alterative access. Refer to your lift provider for any further advice or actions that may need to be taken both prior and after the outage.
  • It is also advised to unplug or power down appliances or sensitive electronic equipment to avoid damaging them (e.g., air conditioning units, computer servers, garage doors, etc). Commercial businesses or body corporates should consider disabling lifts, water pumps, etc. 
  • You do not need to switch off or adjust any solar installation.

Security and safety:

  • Make sure your alarms and security devices can operate correctly without mains power and notify your security company of the interruption.
  • If you have electric garage doors or property gates, make sure your vehicle will be accessible. Check with your company about instructions for manual override.

Minimise food spoilage:

  • Avoid opening the fridge or freezer door:

    • Freezers will usually not defrost and allow food to spoil for at least 24 hours, provided the door has been kept shut.
    • If power is out for more than 4 hours, NSW Food Authority advises that food in fridges can spoil.
    • Make a note of the time you lost power so you can gauge if the food in your fridge is safe to consume.

Frequently Asked Questions

For information on what to expect on the day of the planned power outage, please see the FAQs below.

Will the outage last for the entire duration indicated?

There are times when works are completed earlier than expected and the outage will finish before the end time. There may also be unforeseen circumstances where works may overrun the end time. In these cases, Ausgrid does its best to limit disruption to the window advised.

Why is my power still on after the planned outage scheduled start time?

Planned outages are scheduled to allow enough time to complete all aspects of the required work. This includes safety checks prior to starting and before reinstating the power. Individual customers may have their power switched on or off at different times between the listed start and finish time as work progresses.

Why has the planned outage in my area been cancelled?

Impacts such as weather, unforeseen network incidents or staffing changes may result in planned power outages being cancelled at short notice. If this is the case, the outage will generally be rescheduled to a new date at least 4 business days in the future. We will notify impacted customers a minimum of 4 business days before the rescheduled planned start date and send a reminder SMS on the day before the rescheduled power outage.

I can't see any crews in my street - has my job been cancelled?

Power outages may impact a number of streets at a time and the work to improve, repair or check the network may be taking place at another location. Crews must wait until safety checks have been completed before they can start work. In some cases, they may need to wait for any specialised equipment to arrive on site before the job can commence. Generally, if an outage is cancelled, we will send an SMS cancellation message to the primary account holder (where a mobile phone number has been supplied to the electricity retailer). In some cases, this is not always possible due to process constraints.

Why does Ausgrid need to interrupt power supply ? 

Planned interruptions are necessary to replace aging equipment, conduct maintenance, or extend the network to connect new premises. By turning the power off, our staff can stay safe while working on the electricity network. This ensures we can keep providing a safe and reliable power supply to our customers. We mitigate the inconvenience as best as we can by providing notification a minimum of 4 business days in advance and by keeping the interruptions as short as possible.

Why are planned outages scheduled for weekends, overnight or in peak times?

When scheduling a planned outage, we must consider the following:

  • Road Occupancy License (ROL) restrictions which can limit our works to nights/weekends
  • Impacts to key community infrastructure (schools, medical centres, etc.) and businesses
  • Overall impact to the community (this will depend on the density of residential customers vs. commercial businesses in the area)
  • Safety constraints (e.g., high pedestrian areas)
  • Restrictions on property access times 
  • Reducing outage size by working outside peak electrical load periods (therefore maintaining supply to more customers)
  • Constraints on outage times stipulated by other parties during major projects.

We conduct most outages during the day to increase safety for workers and the public, as well as to keep the cost of operating and maintaining the network as low as possible. On rare occasions, we must arrange outages to occur overnight or on weekends due to restrictions outside of our control. 

Will the food in my fridge and freezer be safe to consume after a power outage?

If the power is out for more than 4 hours, NSW Food Authority advises that food in fridges can spoil. To minimise this, keep the refrigerator door closed as much possible. Freezers will usually not defrost for 24 hours, provided the door has been kept shut.

Can I make a claim for loss of income, appliance damage or food spoilage due to a planned power outage?

We may interrupt the power supply to connect new customers, maintain or repair the network, in accordance with the Deemed Standard Connection Contract [Section 10] and where permitted under the energy laws.

We provide 4-7 days written notice to allow customers to make alternative arrangements if required. For this reason, we do not consider compensation for planned interruptions.

You can find out more about claim eligibility in our Claims Help Section under ‘What can I submit a claim for?'

I use life support equipment but have not yet registered with my retailer, can I register directly with Ausgrid?

Yes, you can register as a life support customer either with your retailer or directly with Ausgrid. If you rely on life support equipment, but are not yet registered as a life support customer, we encourage you to register your details with us and prepare an action plan in the event of a power outage. Read more about life support registration and how to make an action plan for power outages.

Will Ausgrid provide a generator?

Ausgrid does not provide, or reimburse for, the cost of generators for planned outages. If you choose to arrange your own generator, or alternative backup power supply, information on generator safety can be found in the Generator Safety Factsheet.

Will my nbn/internet work during the outage?

Your nbn/internet needs power, so it will likely be affected if it does not have a battery back-up. Please visit the nbn website to check the status of the nbn network at your address. Depending on the size of the outage, mobile phone coverage may also be affected. If you rely on the nbn or internet for emergency phone contact, please contact your equipment provider or telephone/internet provider for further information.

Do I need to switch off my solar system?

You do not need to switch off or adjust any solar installation before or during the interruption.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

If you have a planned outage enquiry, please call Ausgrid on 13 13 65 (Mon-Fri, 9 AM to 4:30 PM excluding public holidays). 

To report a power outage, hazard or emergency, please call 13 13 88 (24 hrs).


More information

For the latest information on power outages in your area, check the Ausgrid Power Outage Map. You can also search a planned outage by Reference Number via our Planned Outage Search.

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