What to do if your supply is interrupted or a variation in voltage to your property leads to damage.
Electricity, gas and water can sometimes be affected by outages. Outages are interruptions in the supply of services that can either be planned or unplanned.
Planned outages are usually done so that companies can work on network infrastructure like poles, wires and pipes. They are necessary to maintain the network and ensure a safe and reliable supply.
When an outage is planned for your area, your electricity and gas distributor (the company that maintains the distribution network such as Jemena, Yarra Valley Water and Multinet Gas) must give you notice in writing – two days for water, four days for electricity and ten days for gas.
Unplanned outages are usually caused by events such as extreme weather, accidents, vandalism and equipment failure.
When there’s an unplanned outage, companies must provide information about the outage and how long it’s expected to last. Electricity distributors must provide information via a 24-hour phone number and on their website within 30 minutes of an outage or as soon as practicable. Gas distributors must have a 24-hour phone number and water companies also need to have a 24-hour number that provides information about supply outages and the estimated duration.
If you have life support equipment, there are additional protections for you. Read our Life support fact sheet for more information.
Your electricity and gas distributor, and your water company, is based on where you live. You can't choose your distributor or water company.
The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has information about the boundaries of each business.
Visit the Find an electricity, gas or water member page for links to the websites of distributors and water companies.
An unauthorised voltage variation is when the electricity voltage supplied to your property is outside of the limits allowed. Many people think of power surges or brownouts but it’s a bit more complicated. Voltage is essentially the pressure of the electrical supply. If it’s too high or too low, it can result in damage to appliances.
Unauthorised voltage variations usually occur when something such as lightning or a falling tree interferes with the electricity wires and poles. These events can sometimes lead to damage to appliances and other electrical equipment.
If an unauthorised voltage variation causes you to suffer damage, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the electricity distributor in your area and ask them for a claim form. You usually have to prove the loss or damage, so make sure you keep receipts, photographs and any other documentation until the claims process has been completed.
If you’ve suffered an electricity, gas or water outage, you’re generally not entitled to compensation. However, if you’ve experienced many outages or were off-supply for a long time, you may be entitled to an automatic Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment. GSLs usually appear automatically on your first bill for the calendar year.
Planned and unplanned energy and water supply outages Information about energy and water supply outages and associated issues.
Have you experienced a voltage variation or power surge? Information about unauthorised voltage variation, sometimes called power surges, and the claims process.
Life support equipment Protections for Victorians with life support equipment.
If you have a dispute with your company about compensation or you don’t think they followed the rules for outages, contact us.
We can investigate what happened to check if the company followed the rules and check if any compensation is owed to you.
We can help with most complaints about energy or water issues in Victoria, big or small. Our service is free to Victorian customers.
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