We know power outages are inconvenient and we notify you in advance so you can plan ahead and make alternative arrangements. We do not compensate customers for planned outages.
Where possible, we’ll provide generation during planned outages to:
- Schools (including holiday programmes)
- Early childcare
- Healthcare (including hospices, medical centres and emergency services)
- Elderly care facilities
- Veterinary clinics
If you are not included in the list above and need a guaranteed continuous electricity supply, we recommend you arrange temporary power generation as part of your routine business continuity planning.
Hiring a generator
There are a range of options available including uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to keep phones and EFTPOS running, and standby petrol or diesel generators. We are happy to provide advice on generation options.
You can hire long or short-term generators from a number of local providers including:
- Power On Site
- Conductive Solutions Limited - Central Otago
We recommend you get in touch with them ahead of time to see if they can help you.
Safety when using generators
Generators are a reliable backup during power outages but using them safely is crucial for your well-being. Whether you're a member of the general public or a worker, we've outlined safety information provided by the Electricity Engineers Association about safe use of generators:
For the general public
- Use flexible cords: Connect appliances only with flexible cords; avoid direct connection to your home mains
- Stay within limits: Respect the generator's maximum output rating in watts to prevent overloading
- No indoor use: Never use a portable generator indoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fire risks
- Fuel with caution: Avoid adding fuel while the generator is running for safety
- Inspect leads and appliances: Use undamaged leads and appliances, and use a safety switch designed for generators
- Gradual connection: Safely connect appliances one by one, starting with the largest
- Use a safety outlet box: Always opt for a multiple-outlet box with built-in load limiters instead of "piggy back" cords
- Professional installation: Have a licensed electrician install the standby generator and make necessary wiring changes
- Changeover switch: Ensure the generator has an automatic or manual changeover switch to prevent electricity from flowing back into the grid
- Stay within limits: Connect loads within the generator's maximum rating by dividing the installation wiring into essential and non-essential sections
- Smart meter placement: Place the generator's connection on the installation side of the energy meter to avoid unexpected billing
- Regular testing: Test-run the generator periodically, especially if it starts automatically during power cuts, for reliable performance
- Scheduled servicing: Keep the generator in top-notch condition with regular servicing by a specialist company
Carbon monoxide is a serious health hazard in workplaces, and your safety is paramount. Here's what you need to know:
- Eliminate risks: Use electric forklifts, move carbon monoxide-generating processes outside, and opt for electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic tools over fuel-powered ones
- Minimise risks: Install proper ventilation in work areas to capture and extract contaminated air safely. Regularly tune fuel-powered forklifts to reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
- Monitor the environment: Employers should monitor the workplace regularly to assess CO levels and maintain a safe atmosphere.
- Seek professional expertise: The PCBU should conduct exposure monitoring with the help of a competent person when work activities may expose workers to carbon monoxide. A PCBU is a 'person conducting a business or undertaking'. The PCBU has the primary duty of care – the primary responsibility for people's health and safety at work.
Keep us in the loop
If you have arranged to use a temporary generator during a planned outage, please give us a call on 0800 22 00 05 to let us know. This will help us keep the team safe while they are working.
Medically dependent customers
If you are medically dependent on electricity, please make sure you:
- Have registered yourself as medically dependent with your electricity retailer
- Have an emergency response plan in place; this might include having access to a small generator.
If you have medication that must be kept cool, consider investing in a backup generator that can power your fridge. Or place it in a chiller bag and transfer it to an unaffected family member/friend’s fridge. Find out more here.
Find out the latest information on planned and unplanned power outages below.