Why are outages so frequent?
How can I prepare for an outage at home?
- Keep your mobile phone charged and consider having a spare battery or mobile power pack.
- Have a torch and spare batteries handy.
- Store cooking fuel, such as gas for your BBQ.
- Consider using a surge protection device to protect appliances such as the TV or computer from power interruption.
- Water pumps in rural areas may not work when the power is off. To prepare, make sure you store emergency water supplies for drinking and washing.
- Contact your house alarm provider to ensure you have backup battery supply during an outage.
What should I do during an electricity outage?
- Report the outage via our outage app or by calling 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867).
- Use a torch instead of candles (a torch is safer).
- Switch off sensitive electrical equipment, such as your TV, computer and stereo as they can be affected by a power surge when power is restored.
- Keep the fridge closed so food will last longer while the power is off. A freezer will usually keep food frozen for up to 24 hours without power.
- Turn appliances off. Make sure elements on your stove, the kettle, and all heaters are turned off. This ensures they don't come back on without you noticing when the power supply is restored.
- Don't touch or use any electrical appliances while barefoot in damp or wet conditions.
- If you go out, be aware that streetlights and traffic lights may not be working.
- Don't go near any damaged power lines and electrical equipment - stay at least eight metres away.
What should I do during a gas outage?
- Report the outage. Call 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867).
- Turn appliances off. Make sure your stove and all heaters are turned off. If you have a gas hot water heater turn it off too. This ensures they don't come back on without you noticing when the gas supply is restored.
- Relight gas appliances. When advised by one of our representatives that the gas supply has been restored, relight your gas appliances. Ensure you light all pilots, including pilots on hot water heaters.
What does Vector do to manage outages?
Our network control team works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to balance the load across the network and to pre-empt and diagnose service interruptions. We have line mechanics in the field 24/7 managing planned works and responding to unplanned outage call-outs.
How can we help prevent outages?
Trees are a major cause of power outages. You can play your part
by keeping your trees clear of power lines.
What are the repair priorities during storms and major outages?
In a major outage, the goal is to restore supply to as many customers as quickly as possible, while maintaining the safety of our crews and the public. This can generally be done by restoring in the following order:
- Network substations, gate stations and main feeder lines/pipelines - these form the backbone of our network and must be repaired before power can be restored further down the line
- Critical infrastructure - hospitals, water and sewage plants, airports
- Major locations - buildings in the CBD, high rise buildings, commercial centres and industrial plants
- Domestic properties - urban and rural
- Streetlights and hot water pilot lines
Crews are trained to work on our networks in all weather conditions and at any hour. However, safety always comes first, and there may be times when it is unsafe to proceed. We will not allow work to go ahead if it cannot be done safely.
Delays may occur if crews are unable to get to the source of the outage, either because of the terrain, traffic congestion or because the affected line/pipe is on locked or secured private property.
What if I have no hot water?
The hot water pilot lines on our northern network (North Shore, Waitakere and Rodney), can be affected by the same conditions that affect our electricity lines. During a major outage, priority will be given to restoring power before hot water.
It can take up to 6 hours for a hot water cylinder to reheat once power has been restored after an outage. If you have no hot water:
- Check that your hot water cylinder is on
- If your hot water cylinder is heated by gas then contact a registered plumber
- If your hot water cylinder is heated by electricity then please call us 0508 VECTOR (832 867)
How to prepare your business or community for a power outage?
- Generators: Consider installing a generator to keep essential services within the building operational, for example electronically accessed doors, lifts and emergency stairwell and hall lighting.
- Emergency Lighting: Check how long emergency and back-up lighting in egress areas and stairwells will last in the event of a power outage.
- If security doors and garage doors will not work in the event of an outage (e.g. you don’t have a generator connected) consider hiring a security guard.
- Ensure lifts are locked off prior to planned outages to prevent people from being trapped. Place a note on the lift doors to let them know.
- Share information with the people affected so they’re prepared for an outage and know the measures in place.
- If anyone is medically dependant on electricity, or are vulnerable, please make sure they have plans in place to manage during an outage.
- Install temporary automatic chargeable lanterns in areas that would normally be lit for common egress – particularly around fire escape routes, e.g. foyers, hallways, garages, main access doors (these can be obtained from most hardware stores).
- If garage doors and gates are electronic, open them before the outage, so people can access their cars. Alternatively, if there is a manual override, make sure they know how to access it.
- Consider using a security guard to protect access to the building.
Protect sensitive equipment
- Consider using a surge protection device to protect appliances such as digital screens and computers from power interruption.
- Check with equipment providers what to do to protect the equipment prior to a planned power outage and protect against turning off/restarting during any outage, e.g. pumps, electric doors, lifts etc
What if the lines/pipes on my property are damaged?
Do you have service standards?
We have set service standards
which apply in normal weather conditions on our electricity network. In extreme weather conditions or major adverse events outside our control, the usual service standards do not apply, although every effort is made to restore supply as quickly as possible.
How does outage information get communicated to customers?
Where we have the data we’ll text affected customers to let them know. We also update our outage app
with the latest information about outages and restoration progress. The app can be set to send push notifications, so if you save a location into the app you’ll be alerted about outages affecting that location. Our website also has the latest information about the status of outages.
Where an outage is planned, we will give customers advanced warning by emailing them the details, if we have their email address, otherwise we’ll send a letter.
Who do I speak to if I think outage information is incorrect?