FAQs

Planned outages

You’ll get a letter or an email from your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to). You can also search your address for upcoming planned outages on our planned outages page click here 

Sometimes we can change the date of a planned outage if the change doesn’t overly impact our network operations and planning. Contact your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to) and request a change for us to consider. You’ll hear the outcome of the review through your retailer. 

We do planned outages during the day so our crews can work safely. We understand there’s never a convenient time to have a planned outage, so thank you for your patience. Maintaining and improving our network is essential for you to have safe, reliable and resilient power supply. 

Switch the unit off prior to the outage if you can. Our crew may remove your service fuse at your service pole or pillar box as an extra precaution, so your power may go off slightly earlier and be restored slightly later than the times in the letter or email from your retailer advising you of the outage.

We don’t supply generators for planned outages. We understand there’s never a convenient time to have a planned outage, but they are necessary to ensure that your power supply is safe, reliable and resilient. About 150,000 homes and businesses are affected by our planned outages each year, so it would simply cost too much to supply generators for everyone.

Unplanned Outages

Click here to find out more about power outages and who to contact when your power is out.

Our outages page has estimated restoration times to give you an indication of when your power may come back on. How long it will take to reconnect you depends on the cause of the outage and how complex it is to repair - that’s why restoration times are only an estimate. Keep checking the page for updates to the estimated restoration time. Our crews work as quickly as they can and we appreciate your patience while we work to reconnect you. 

Talk to your retailer and we will supply the information to them.

Contact your local council. 

You might not see your outage on our outages page because: 

  • your outage hasn’t been reported yet 

  • there are less than ten properties affected by your outage (our outages page only shows outages affecting ten or more properties) 

  • indicated areas on the map are approximate.  

Visit our ‘Report an outage’ page for next steps on what you can check if you’re experiencing an outage, and how you can report your outage. click here

There are two common causes of flickering power:

  1. If your power has gone off and come back on three or four times, our overhead line is sensing an object touching it (such as a kite or tree branch). We have safety equipment on our overhead lines to interrupt power if anything comes in contact with them. If the object clears from the line, power will come back on. If the object stays on the line, the power will go off until our crew come to check it. 

  2. If your power is flickering over a longer period of time there will be a problem either with your internal wiring (such as a loose connection), or on our network. Call your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to) for further help. 

Check that your hot water cylinder is on. If your cylinder is on but it’s still cold after six hours call your retailer and they will help you troubleshoot the issue.  

No. In fact, there may be less electricity used overall reheating a cold cylinder than keeping a cylinder at the set temperature with uninterrupted electricity supply.  

Electrical connections and disconnections

Yes. A temporary builder’s supply goes through the same process as any other new connection. It’s likely your electrician will install the temporary supply box on your property and arrange for a Powerco-approved contractor to connect it to our network. If the temporary supply box is positioned very close to the final location of the meter box on the house, the cable that connects the temporary supply to the Powerco network may also be used to connect the finished house to our network. This saves time and money when the house is completed and the temporary supply box is no longer required.  

For more information on getting connected click here

No. Only Powerco-approved contractors can connect your service main to our network. Find a Powerco-approved contractor  

For information about permanent disconnections click here

To connect to our network, the first step is to contact your retailer. Then you’ll need a Powerco-approved contractor to design and install your connection. How long it will take will depend on how much work is required to enable your connection, and the availability of the Powerco-approved contractor you choose. Ask your contractor for an indication of timeframes when you’re getting the quote for the design and installation of your connection.

For more information on getting connected click here or find a Powerco-approved contractor  

The costs involved are assessed by your chosen Powerco-approved contractor and they’ll consider factors like the complexity of the design, the equipment required, and the work involved. Once they’ve assessed the costs involved, your Powerco-approved contractor will give you a quote with their price. You can get quotes from more than one Powerco-approved contractor so you can compare prices.  

For more information on getting connected click here 

Because there’s no electrical work involved, you can organise your temporary disconnection for free. To find out how click here

Because electrical work is involved, you’ll need a Powerco-approved contractor to disconnect you from our network. Find a Powerco-approved contractor 

For information about getting connected click here  

No. You may need to pay towards the cost of a network upgrade or to have Powerco equipment installed on your property to enable your connection. However, the equipment will still belong to Powerco.

For information on the safety disconnection process click here 

Easements

If a Powerco-approved contractor is going to install our equipment on (or near) your property, you’ll get an ownership notice. The ownership notice: 

  • tells you about the type of electrical works being arranged 

  • lists the Powerco equipment that will be installed on or near your land 

  • may have a list of electrical equipment on your land that we don’t own

  • sets out your responsibilities for the Powerco equipment on your land. For instance, you’ll need to make sure equipment is accessible to us at all times so we can maintain it and make sure equipment is not removed, damaged or interfered with. 

If your neighbour is asking you to give us an easement it’s usually because we need Powerco equipment to cross your property so we can supply your neighbour’s house with electricity. 

An easement is a legal right for one person to use another person’s property.  

It gives us the right to install, operate, inspect, maintain and upgrade our equipment on property we don’t own. Easements are registered on the land title so we have the same rights even if the property is sold. 

Often our equipment will cross more than one person’s property – that’s how we get electricity from A to B.  When this happens, there’ll be more than one landowner who we need an easement from. 

Our network

Yes, you can get the work done at your cost. Contact a Powerco-approved contractor for a quote. Find a Powerco-approved contractor 

Yes. You may need a temporary disconnection, a close proximity consent, or we may need to send someone to your site to check that you’re working safely. Learn more about working safely near our assets 

An underground locating technician will be able to locate your service cable for you. 

Contact beforeUdig – they’re a free online service and can provide plans of where services are located underground. If you’re working near underground cables and pipes you’ll need to let us know. Learn more about working safely near our assets

Yes. There will either be an easement on your land, or the equipment is allowed to be there under the Electricity Act. 

We use easements when we’re putting equipment (such as poles or transformers) on property we don’t own. Easements are registered on land titles, so they remain in place when ownership of land changes hands.

Some older Powerco equipment (constructed before 1 January 1993) won’t have an easement. That’s because they’re ‘existing works’ under the Electricity Act. Powerco can access and  maintain ‘existing works’ under the Electricity Act.

Contact an electrician to work on your service line. Your electrician will need to organise a Powerco-approved contractor to temporarily disconnect your line so they can do the work safely.

Our poles have an identification number. If there’s a pole on your land without an identification number it’s probably owned by you or your neighbour. If you’re unsure, you can get in touch with us at 0800 POWERCO (769 372). 

We usually own all the equipment up to the boundary of your property, and any transformer or high voltage switchgear on your property. We’re responsible for the maintenance, operation and replacement of our equipment.  

You own the overhead service line or underground cable that gets power from the boundary of your property (or other point of supply) to the power meter. It’s your responsibility to maintain your service line or cable. 

Your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to) usually owns the meter. 

If you’re unsure who owns lines or other electrical equipment on your property, please contact us on 0800 POWERCO (769 372). 


We charge repair costs when anyone damages our network. That includes if a tree you own drops onto lines or equipment, if you hit Powerco equipment with a vehicle, or if you’re transporting a high load and you bring down lines. We’ll send an invoice for the repair costs to you or your insurer.

It’s not possible to have our entire network underground. In some parts of our network the ground is too hard, there’s a lake or river we can’t go under, or it’s too hilly or remote. It also costs significantly more to put cables underground than it does to construct overhead lines. 

Power bills and retailers

Yes. Your new retailer will organise the switching process for you. For more information on the switching process visit Powerswitch  

Contact your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to). 

Your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to) is responsible for your meter. 

Powerco is a lines company (also called a distributor). A lines company owns the network of lines and cables that bring electricity from Transpower (the National Grid) to the boundary of your property. A retailer is the company you pay your power bill to. About 25% of your power bill is passed on to us by your retailer so we can ensure your power is safe, reliable and resilient. Learn more about how electricity gets to you here

You can find a map of lines companies on the Electricity Network Authority website 

You can find a list of retailers on the Powerswitch website 

Contact your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to).

Powerco assets on your property

Find out more about working around our assets safely 

If there’s an easement for the Powerco equipment, it’s likely you can’t move or remove the equipment unless we agree. 

If there’s no easement because the Powerco equipment was constructed before 1 January 1993, the Electricity Act applies. It allows owners and occupiers of private property to have works removed or relocated as long as they pay all costs.

There are a few things to consider before any removal or relocations can go ahead: 

  • You’ll need to pay all removal and relocation costs. 

  • The removal or relocation has to be done by a Powerco-approved contractor. 

  • Is there another suitable location for the equipment to go? 

  • Will the removal or relocation affect the supply of electricity to any other customers? 

  • Will an easement be required for the new location? 

You can find out more about relocating existing assets here. 

Powerco equipment constructed before 1 January 1993 won’t have an easement, but they will be 'existing works' under the Electricity Act and Powerco has legal right to access and maintain the equipment.

Vegetation

For information about trees near lines click here 

Base Power

The Base Power installation adheres to all the relevant Australia/New Zealand Electrical Standards. Along with this the Base Power Energy Storage Unit and generator are padlocked by Powerco to prevent access to the internals.

The Base Power Energy Storage Unit and generator can handle almost any type of weather and do not need additional protection. They are typically installed on concrete pads that help keep the weeds away. The solar generation will need to be installed in a sunny spot which is free from shading.


No. You won’t have a retailer when your electricity is supplied by Base Power.

No. Powerco will manage this process with your retailer.

Powerco will supply electricity through the Base Power equipment that it will own and maintain. Click here for a sample of the terms of ownership and supply.

Powerco will provide you with generation, storage and management services for the Base Power equipment on your property.

Powerco will send you an invoice with details of how to pay.

You’ll pay a maintenance fee to Powerco.

You will need to purchase the diesel and arrange for the unit to be refuelled. Our Powerco representative will explain the options for refuelling.

No. You won’t pay for Base Power equipment.

Powerco cannot promise this for any customer. However, we have selected you to receive your supply by Base Power to provide you with a better quality of supply than you had before.

Powerco will inform you which assets are ours and which are yours.

You will own and maintain your line. Learn more about service lines.

 

Powerco will own and maintain it.

Yes. Powerco needs you to ensure our Base Power equipment isn’t moved, tampered with or interfered with, except by our approved contractor.

Yes. Powerco’s approved contractor will get in touch for any planned maintenance.

Please discuss this with our Powerco representative.

You can contact our Powerco representative. Base Power equipment is Powerco-owned and we need to approve any alterations or changes to your installation.

Call 0508 227 376. Our contractor will respond to your call and help you.

No. These units require a specialised contractor which Powerco will arrange.

Our Powerco representative will discuss the best location with you.