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Power outages are caused by a number of factors, including weather events such as storms, floods, and lightning strikes. Other common reasons for outages include cars hitting power poles and trees encroaching on overhead power lines. 

While we can’t guarantee a constant supply of power, we take active measures to prevent outages where we can. We have a tree management programme where we cut or trim trees back from power lines, in addition to regular network maintenance.  For customers, there are a number of ways to keep homes, businesses and farms safe in the event of a power outage. Find out how below.

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Outage Tips

Here are some handy tips to help you in the event of an unexpected power outage.

Have an emergency preparedness kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

If you rely on electricity for medical reasons, ensure you have a plan in place should the power go out.

Keep a reserve of ice or frozen water in filled plastic containers which can be used to keep food cold.

If you’re using your car to charge devices, position your car outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid potential damage from electrical surges during an outage.

Keep cell phones and any battery-powered devices charged.

Store some water for drinking and washing if you rely on a water pump.


Response Priorities

Our number one priority is to keep the public and our people safe. The list below describe how we prioritise faults. Please note that in line with safety being our top priority, faults may not be attended in the order that they occur.

Address safety first

Safety concerns relating to events such as downed power lines or vehicle accidents are always our dispatch teams’ first priority. Once a site is made safe, repair work can commence.

Attend to widespread outages

Widespread, high voltage outages that affect a significant number of customers are our second priority.

Restore individual properties

Lastly, we look at outages that affect only single properties.

Did you know?

of unplanned outages in the past 6 months were caused by trees making contact with power lines.

Damage to power lines by overgrown trees

Help prevent faults – BeforeUDig and Keeping Trees Trimmed

You can help prevent some faults by using approved utility arborists to cut or trim your trees so that they are well clear of power lines. If you own a private service line, get in touch with qualified professionals to check and maintain these lines regularly.

If you’re a DIYer, we highly recommend you use the BeforeUDig service to locate underground cables before you excavate, thrust or dig for your safety.

Frequently Asked Questions
When will my power come back on?

Once our first responders have addressed any on-site safety concerns, a separate crew will be dispatched to carry out the repair work. Depending on the cause and extent of the outage, the power restoration time frame can vary widely. For real-time updates, the easiest and fastest way to get an estimated time of restoration for known outages is available 24/7 on our Outage Hub, here.

Do I need to report my outage?

If your power is out and the outage affecting you is not currently shown on the Outage Hub, we encourage you to report this online here. If you prefer to speak to our Customer Care team, please call us on 0800 100 202.

Why can’t I see the outage I reported on your outage map?

Counties Energy will combine individual outages reported into a larger outage on the Outage Hub to show the area affected on our map. If you don’t see your individual outage ‘pin’, this means that it has been combined with other reported outages nearby.

I've seen some downed power lines, what should I do?

Please be aware that all power lines should always be treated as live and dangerous, and it’s essential to keep well away (at least a bus length) from any downed power lines to avoid serious injuries. This is because power can arc across an air gap and cause injury to you if you’re close enough, but not actually touching the power line.

If you see any downed power lines, call us immediately on 0800 100 202.

I’m medically dependent on electricity, what do I do if I have no power?

We encourage customers who are medically dependent on electricity to have an emergency response plan at the ready if unexpected power cuts put you at risk. This can include having a portable generator at the ready or making prior arrangements to stay with family or friends who have power. In a medical emergency, please contact your health provider and your power company to let them know you are without power – this is who you pay your power bill to (e.g. Mercury, Genesis, Trustpower, Contact Energy). A full list of power companies used by customers on the Counties Energy network can be found here).

Does Counties Energy provide customers with generators during a power outage?

Counties Energy may use commercial sized generators whilst carrying out repairs to damaged equipment where possible. However, this is not always the case as it depends on the nature of the repair or maintenance work. We do not provide generators to individual properties or customers as this is not practical; in some cases outages affect hundreds if not thousands of customers spread across a wide geographical area.

Our aim is always to restore power as quickly and as safely as we can, while communicating updates with our customer either through our Outage Hub, our website, our Facebook page or by using emails and text messages.

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

During a power outage, food in your fridge should remain fresh for approximately 4-6 hours if you refrain from opening the fridge door too often. Similarly, food in the freezer should stay frozen for about 15-24 hours.