Measuring our performance

Every time there’s an outage, we start counting how many customers are affected, including how long the power is out and how often it happens on our network.

There are two types of power outages – planned and unplanned. Both have regulatory targets to make sure we’re meeting the required quality standards for your power supply.

We’re pleased to have met all our targets in CPP – Year Three (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021). That means we kept the power on for more people and minimised the impact on our customers when working on our network.

You’ll find more information about how we met our planned and unplanned targets below.

Planned outage targets

There are times when we need to disconnect the power supply to work safely on maintaining or upgrading equipment on our electricity network. With careful planning, we stayed under the regulatory limit for the frequency and length of planned outages on our network.

During CPP – Year Three, the COVID-19 environment, including the lockdown period, created significant delays in the delivery of our work programme. Thanks to great planning and the dedicated efforts of our crews, we made up the 4-6 weeks of lost time and delivered our complete programme of work for the year. By coordinating our work with multiple contractors to take place in the same area and at the same time, we carried out a much greater volume of work while minimising the disruption to our customers.

Scheduling our work carefully is key to limiting the impact on you. Our planning ensures all our work in a particular area happens at the same time, as well as re-routing power to those affected to avoid losing power where possible. However, sometimes in rural areas, there’s only one line servicing an area and planned outages are unavoidable. To help keep our communities connected while we work, we’ve invested in a specialist transformer that allows for the connection of a single large generator to power remote rural lines where the use of small, individual generators isn’t practical.

Improving our communication with you has also been an area of focus. By advertising our maintenance and upgrade work well in advance, customers had early visibility of our plans. As well as giving you an early heads up, we were able to review and change our plans where possible to accommodate any significant events happening in our communities.

Unplanned outage targets

Managing variables that lead to power cuts, like extreme weather conditions, vehicles colliding with power poles or bird strikes, is challenging.

While we can’t plan for unplanned outages, we work closely alongside our Downer field crews to get your power back on as quickly and safely as possible when the unexpected does occur. This includes adding extra fault crew to our first response teams if we see a power cut is affecting large numbers of customers. This helps with timely repairs and power restoration.

The weather conditions also played a part in helping us meet the target. Fewer storms producing high winds, which have the potential to bring down trees and debris onto lines, as well as lightning damage, meant fewer weather-related power cuts. Our CPP investment in improving the reliability of our network is delivering benefits, with a 20% reduction in outages due to broken equipment, and deployment of automation devices to reduce the length of time the power is off.

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