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General power outages FAQs

We understand that losing power is inconvenient.

If your electricity supply is interrupted, we work as safely and quickly as possible to restore power. Our emergency response teams work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fix faults on the network.

If you see fallen powerlines or hazards on the electricity network, stay clear and make the safe call to our 24/7 emergency line on 13 13 51.

The duration of a power outage is affected by various factors including:

  • the number of high priority incidents and new incident reports which may flow in, for example, during a storm
  • the location of the fault and how close it is to your property
  • the ability to use backup power while we repair the fault
  • the nature of the fault and how easy it is to repair
  • the time required to get extra resources to a site when needed.

Estimated restoration times relating to postcodes are only ever estimates.

This is because in a ‘postcode area’ there are numerous powerlines that are not necessarily interconnected, which means that restoring power to a line may return power to some customers in one street, but not others.

Additionally, conditions on the ground can change which may impact how safely and quickly our crews can repair the network and restore power.

We recognise it is frustrating to read the message “Restoration time: unknown”. An unknown restoration time message can arise when there is extensive damage to the network, generally caused by a major incident such as a storm, and our crews are attending to many faults.

In such cases, our crews must firstly make each site safe before work can commence.

When there are many faults in a suburb, repair work on one fault may return power to some customers, but not others. Therefore it is not possible to give an estimated restoration time for a suburb that is meaningful for all affected customers within that suburb.

Ground and/or helicopter patrols are required to visually inspect lines before power is restored, to ensure it is safe to do so. In times of strong winds, aerial restrictions sometimes apply limiting our use of helicopter patrols.

When the network is damaged, our first action is to make the site safe for our crews and for the community and then to assess the damage.

Our crews prioritise work focusing first on rebuilding the major lines that connect the most customers to the network.

After the major lines that form the backbone of the network have been repaired, crews work on the smaller lines and then on individual customer lines.

Major storms or lightning strikes often damage several sets of powerlines over a widespread area.

Ground and/or helicopter patrols must visually inspect lines before power is restored, to ensure it is safe to do so. In times of strong winds, aerial restrictions sometimes apply limiting our use of helicopter patrols.

As a result of these factors, restoring power to some regional areas can take longer.

Our role is to provide safe and reliable electricity to our customers. During the bushfire season, we make changes to the way we operate in high and extreme fire risk areas.

Our systems that remotely and automatically restore power are altered during the hotter months to reduce the chance of a spark causing a fire. Occasionally, the process of automatically restoring power can add to the risks of fire. In high and extreme fire areas it is safer to physically check lines before power is restored after an interruption to make sure there are no branches or foreign objects touching the powerlines.

Ground and/or helicopter patrols must visually inspect lines before power is restored, to ensure it is safe to do so. Aerial restrictions sometimes apply limiting our use of helicopter patrols.

Alternatively, we may remotely restore the power when the risk of fire is lower, for example during the night.

As a result of these factors, there may be a delay in restoring power.

If you happen to experience a power interruption in the hotter months, we ask for your patience.

To help us maintain safe and reliable power, we encourage you to report any fault to 13 13 51.

If you live in a bushfire risk area and experience a power outage, particularly during summer, we ask for your patience.

When the network is damaged and our crews arrive at the scene, our first action is to make the site safe - for them to work and for the community - and to then to assess the damage.

While we are prepared to respond to power outages, customers who have a critical reliance on electricity should also be prepared. For example, customers who live in high risk fire areas, who care for the sick or elderly or rely on electrical water pumps might consider having access to a generator.

Information from the community can help us maintain a safe and reliable network so please report any incidents or concerns to us as soon as possible on 13 13 51.

Please report the following:

  • no power, dim or fluctuating power, partial power
  • vegetation touching powerlines
  • vandalism
  • tingling or slight shocks received from your taps
  • fallen, broken or arcing powerlines
  • clashing conductors
  • dangerous poles; on a lean, sparking, exposed wires, on fire, hit by a vehicle or lying on the ground
  • underground cable, green dome or kiosk damaged or exposed wires
  • substation door open.

Western Power installs and maintains streetlights on behalf of most local governments. Local government is responsible for the location, brightness and the number of streetlights in their area.

Main Roads WA installs and maintains freeway and main arterial road lighting. Main Roads WA can be contacted at www.mainroads.wa.gov.au or on 13 81 38.

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Need to speak to someone?

We're here to help. Call us on 13 10 87 (7am-5pm Monday to Friday) or email your enquiry to enquiry@westernpower.com.au