Frequently asked questions

Welcome to our FAQs page!

Here, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions our customers ask us. We’re here to provide you with all the answers and information you need.

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If you don't find what you're looking for, feel free to reach out to our friendly customer support team – they're always ready to assist you.

Explore the FAQs below and get the solutions you’re seeking.

Why has the outage that I reported on the Outage Hub disappeared from the map?

Counties Energy will combine individual outages reported into a larger outage on the Outage Hub to show the area affected on our map. During a storm, this helps customers to see the extent of the outages across the network so that they can make alternative arrangements such as staying with family or friends in a different suburb that has power.

When an individual report is connected to a larger one, our crews are able to assess the severity of the outage in question and to account for all affected customers when restoring power.

Why do I have a power outage but my neighbour doesn’t?

The Counties Energy network is designed to ensure we keep the power on to all customers, neighbouring properties on the same street can frequently be connected to separate cables and power supply. This means that if there is an outage in the electricity line supplying your property, your neighbour’s property could still receive an uninterrupted power supply, and vice versa.

I'm a farmer without power and have animal welfare issues. Who should I contact?

Please be assured, we’re working as quickly and safely as possible to fully restore supply. If you have animal welfare issues. Your local Civil Defence group is an option if you have any welfare concerns.

I see crew in my area, but they haven’t come to my house to reconnect my power?

Our crews have a restoration process they follow when working on power restoration. Please be assured, we will get to you as soon as we can. To find our if we know about your outage, please visit our Outage Hub If it’s not there, please report your outage.

When will my power be back on?

Please see our Outage Hub for the latest information regarding a power outage affecting your property or business. Our crews work hard to provide the most accurate restoration time possible. However, we kindly ask you to understand that these are estimates only and may be subject to change as the situation unfolds.

Do I need to report my outage?

To ensure Counties Energy is aware of all outages on the network it is helpful to report the outage. You can report an outage through our Outage Hub.

There are power lines that are down in my area, what do I need to do?

Please be aware that all power lines should be treated as live and dangerous, and it’s essential to keep a safe distance from any downed power lines to avoid serious injuries.

Stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones by staying away from any fallen power lines.

Call us immediately to report on 0800 100 202 or call 111.

I’m medically dependent, who do I contact if I have no power?

Medically dependent customers should reach out to their energy retailer (the company you pay your power bill to, retailers on the Counties Energy network can be found here). Your chosen energy retailer will work with you to find a solution during an outage.

Am I able to report an outage affecting my property over the phone?

Our customers can report an outage via our website, the Outage Hub, or via the phone. To report an outage over the phone you can contact us on 0800 100 202.

Can I change the date/time of a planned outage affecting me?

Once Counties Energy has sent you a notification with the confirmed date and time for a planned outage, we’re unable to make any changes to the date but provide customer alternative dates if circumstances change on the network. Our dedicated engineer team have been scheduled to conduct the necessary work, all required materials have been procured, and we have also notified other customers in the vicinity about the planned outage at this specific time.

How does Counties Energy let me know if my property is going to be affected by a planned outage?

If your property is going to be affected by a planned outage you will receive a letter or an email from Counties Energy. Additionally, our Outage hub will provide planned outage details of any upcoming planned outages.

Why are most of the planned outages carried out during the day?

One of our main priorities when carrying out work on the network is making sure our crews can work safely. We understand there’s never a convenient time to have a planned outage, so thank you for your patience.

What is controlled water heating?

Most power companies in New Zealand can control or turn off power to electric water cylinders to reduce the amount of power used at peak times – like on cold winter evenings. This is called load control. This prevents increased demand for power stations, saves you money and has environmental benefits.

In the Counties Energy area, controlled water heating is separately metered, so that your energy retailer can pass on savings directly to you. Normally controlled power costs about 20% less than other power. Most people aren’t aware their water is being controlled. If you wake up to cold water frequently, controlled water heating may not be right for you. Contact us to discuss your options.

Do you know how long the food in my freezer will last without power?

While a fully packed, free-standing freezer (that remains closed throughout an outage) will stay at acceptably cold temperatures for up to four days, lesser stacked freezers and those with unreliable seals may only keep food frozen for up to 24 hours. If you doubt the safety of any frozen food in your freezer, please discard it.

How long will my unrefrigerated food remain safe to eat?

Perishable food stays fresh in the fridge for four to six hours without power. While the following items are safe (if they have been opened/refrigerated) to still consume after an extended power cut: peanut butter, jelly, mustard, ketchup, olives, pickles, barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar-based dressings, fruit, raw vegetables and hard cheeses (including grated); opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish, garlic in oil and salads containing these items, should be discarded after eight hours of temperatures of 10°C and above. The following items have the shortest unrefrigerated lifespan: dairy products, poultry, meat, seafood, fresh pasta, fresh greens, eggs, soy meat substitutes, and leftovers. These items should be discarded following more than two hours at temperatures of 4°C or higher.

Source: ‘Power cut: The food in your fridge and freezer you’ll need to bin.’

Why can’t you give me a generator during a power outage?

To install a generator Counties Energy, require qualified engineers to install them to a property as we do to repair an outage using our crew. Our preference is to carry out permanent solutions to the outages to reduced prolonged outages. While we may use generators in some instances to help reduce the amount of customer without power, this is only in some cases that require extensive repairs where the restoration is expected to take a significant amount of time.

When will Counties Energy Contact you?

Counties Energy may contact customers by email, letter, phone, or SMS relating to any of the below:

  • Planned works / planned outages.
  • During a power outage
  • Land access for private power poles and Counties Energy network maintenance

To respond to any of the below:

  • Customer enquiries
  • Applications for new customer connections, network services
  • Meter service requests and meter reading
  • Generation applications and registrations
  • Planning applications
  • Customer surveys / feedback
Why am I receiving power outage SMS notifications from Counties Energy?

We’re expanding our power outage SMS notification service to over 44,000 customers.
As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance communication with our valued customers during power outages, we are delighted to introduce this new service. Based on valuable feedback from our customers, we have implemented SMS updates as a means of keeping you informed about any power outages that may affect your area.

As a residential electricity account holder, you will automatically receive these helpful SMS notifications using the mobile number associated with your account. This way, you can stay informed and prepared during any unforeseen interruptions in your power supply.

What should I do if my trees look to close to powerlines?

We encourage you to get in touch with us if you see a tree (whether it’s yours or someone else’s) which is encroaching on an overhead. Please use this form to let us know of trees that may need cutting or trimming as they are encroaching on power lines or other electrical assets. To keep yourself and others safe, only Counties Energy approved contractors  may cut or trim a tree within four metres of an overhead line.

If Counties Energy becomes aware of a tree encroaching on the Growth Limit Zone, you will be issued one of two notices, you can learn more here.