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Note: This information is intended as general advice only and may not account for your unique circumstances such as usage habits, home and power provider. Please talk to your lines company for specific information.

Reporting an outage helps power lines companies attend to a transmission issue quicker. While they have measures in place to pick up some faults, others may need your feedback to ensure they are resolved quickly and completely.

In this guide you’ll learn things like:

  • Who is responsible for sorting outages.
  • Ways to report the issue.
  • Providing feedback or raising concerns about the process.

Who to talk to

The first place you should go when the power goes out is your lines company. They are responsible for the infrastructure and operation of power lines. Each region has a specific lines company that is responsible, so make sure you find the right company and give them a call. These providers have support staff who can keep you informed about matters relating to outages, service, maintenance or repairs.

You can also report damage to the lines or the outage itself to your power lines company as this can help them diagnose the extent of the issue.

Not getting help from lines company? Ring your retailer (like us!)

Our lines companies in New Zealand are excellent and take outages seriously. Sometimes though you may not be able to get through or be unsure who the right person is to answer your question.

While retailers like Powershop aren’t in charge of the power lines, we have close relationships with all these companies across New Zealand. We help customers organise power to get connected at new places where there was no power before and we’re equally happy to support you getting the information you need about a planned or random power outage.

So, if you aren’t getting what you need elsewhere, give your retailer a call and explain the situation - you will just want to check the opening hours for phone support.

What the response to a power outage usually involves

Getting to a power outage’s source requires a qualified team of experts employed by the lines company. They’ll diagnose the issue along with any other monitoring technology in place to identify issues within the infrastructure.

The reality is that a power outage can be caused by a number of things, so the response will be different according to what’s happened. If responding to an outage caused by damage, the first thing lines companies’ maintenance staff will do is to determine the extent of the damage. From there, they’ll develop a plan to replace or repair the issue as soon as possible to get surrounding homes back up and running.

If there’s been a fault within the power station or lines, this will also require diagnosis before fixing. As residents, the most important information is less about the nature of the issues and more the time expected to get back power. Lines companies are used to dealing with all sorts of problems, so the turnaround time is usually not too long.

Maintenance

Sometimes outages will be due to maintenance. This can involve the upgrading of cabling, transformers and other equipment designed to keep the supply of power running. Some maintenance might be preventative such as cutting back trees or repositioning underground cabling to protect against slips, storms or flooding.

As you might expect, power supply infrastructure undergoes serious load over time, so replacement of this is simply routine of any power transmission company.

Getting updates on status


You can find this out much quicker than calling by jumping onto the lines company’s website and navigating to their planned outage/maintenance page. Simply find the ‘status’ area and you’ll get information about the nature of the maintenance, who it affects, how long it’ll result in outage for and any other information of note.

Having trouble with continual outages? Here’s where you can go to raise a concern.

If you’re unhappy about the degree of outages you’re experiencing, there are ways to raise an issue. We’d suggest in the first instance speaking with the lines company directly. Otherwise, you have the Electricity Authority, Commerce Commission or your local MP as other avenues to find a resolution. You can also chat to your retailer, like Powershop, who may be able to help reach a good outcome.

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