Case Study: Power Outages January 2018

Over the 2018 Australia Day long weekend, Victoria experienced unpredicted widespread electricity outages which significantly impacted the community. On Sunday 28 and Monday 29 January, a total of 94,712 Victorian customers lost power at varying durations.

The outages were not caused by a lack of electricity supply rather they were due to a failure of the network. As a result of unpredictable weather conditions, Victorian’s attempted to cool their homes for prolonged periods which placed demand constraints on the network.

Following the January outages, the Victorian Government brokered a deal with Powercor, CitiPower, United Energy, Ausnet Services and Jemena to provide a $5 million relief package to approximately 50,000 affected customers. In addition to this, a Post Event Review Report was conducted to identify potential improvements and prevention for the future.

The Post Event Review Report made 15 recommendations to address outage prevention, improved communications and consumer protection.  All Distribution Network Service Providers committed to implement the review’s recommendations.

For further information, read

Case Study: Windstorm in April 2008

On 2 April 2008 a severe storm moved across Victoria from west to east. The storm caused major disruption to traffic, public transport and electricity distribution networks leading to extended local power outages.

Several 100,000 properties were without power as a result of the storms, with several thousand without power for more than 24 hours. The difficulty was the number of individual truck visits required to reconnect power to individual homes, all across the state, stretching available resources. It was unusual for such large numbers of customers to be simultaneously affected without any major infrastructure damage. Most outages after this storm were simply caused tress bringing down individual lines.

Following the windstorm the Emergency Services Commissioner conducted a review of the event, to identify potential improvements in emergency management arrangements.
Read the Report prepared by the Emergency Services Commissioner and the Government's response to the Report's Recommendations.

Case Study: Blackout on January 2007

Electricity supply disruption on 16 January 2007 was a result of a bushfire which disconnected the major transmission lines between Victoria and New South Wales.

Victoria lost about one quarter of its electricity supply leaving nearly half a million Victorian customers without power and many key community services disrupted. Given this magnitude, the Victorian Government conducted a thorough review of the incident.

The review found that many aspects of the supply disruption were managed extremely well by the power industry and that there was no single action that if taken on that day, would have guaranteed continuity of all supplies. The review also identified 12 recommendations to reduce the possibility of such an event reoccurring and to minimise the consequences of any future incident.

The Government accepted all recommendations; two, which proposed improved communication processes throughout the government, the community and Victoria's emergency services, were implemented immediately. The majority of the other recommendations were implemented by the end of 2007.

These new procedures ensure decisions about how the power system is set up, are made with the best possible information and reflect a structured approach to the evaluation of supply risks.

Read the Executive Summary of the Report

Page last updated: 19/07/18