Frequently asked questions
Do I call Power and Water if I lose services during a major storm?
We might already be aware of the outage. If it's safe, check your street and your neighbours. If their power is out too, it's likely that they have contacted us and we are on our way to investigate the problem. For more information on power interruptions, visit the Current Bulletins page or follow @PowerWaterCorp on Twitter.
You can also call our 24 hour faults number 1800 245 092 to report an outage. Remember, do not use your landline phone in an electrical storm, use your mobile instead.
What happens after I report an outage?
When you call, a work order is created. Work orders are sent to Power and Water's System Control unit responsible for dealing with and sending repair crews to the outage locations of to check the problem. If they can't repair the problem, a line crew will be called out to do the repairs.
Why is it hard for Power and Water to say how long it will take to get services restored?
Safety, environment and weather conditions, accessibility to damaged areas and the time of day are among the many factors that will affect how long it will take to restore your services. Severe storms impacting lots of customers can affect the reconnection process making it hard for us to predict restoration times.
How does Power and Water handle increased calls during major outages?
We've increased the capacity of our two contact centres in Darwin and Alice Springs to handle outages. Dedicated customer service staff are trained to manage the high volume of customer calls resulting from outages caused by major storms or cyclones. There is also a group of staff on standby.
Our 24 hour faults line 1800 245 092 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Can I ring Power and Water in an emergency situation?
Our emergency line 1800 245 090 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This number is for emergencies only and should not be used for any other purpose.
What if someone in my home has special requirements or is on life-support medical equipment?
In an emergency, phone our emergency line 1800 245 090, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Always have a backup plan for yourself and your family. If there is a cyclone or severe storm, it could take some time to restore your services.
What if a powerline falls onto a road or into my backyard?
Fallen powerlines may look harmless, but they could be deadly. Always treat them as 'live'. Keep yourself, your family and neighbours at a safe distance. Report them immediately by calling 000 or our emergency line 1800 245 090.
How does Power and Water know which services to restore first?
During a storm or cyclone restoration, priority is given to facilities that are essential to community health and welfare. In order of priority they include:
- Hospitals, nursing homes, evacuation centres, emergency services - police, ambulance and fire brigade.
- Residential and commercial customers - people living close to community facilities may have their power restored sooner.
After priority facilities are restored, how does Power and Water decide whose services to restore next?
We work to restore services to the most customers the quickest way possible. If we have to choose between sending crews to do work that will restore power to 1000 customers or work that will restore 10, we will restore the 1000 customers first.
Why do my neighbours have power and I don't?
Their power supply could come from different powerlines or transformers. This is common.
Why do I see Power and Water vehicles leave my neighborhood without restoring service to the area?
After major outages, Power and Water's first responsibility is to make the area safe, and clear and secure dangerous objects, such as trees, poles and powerlines that have fallen across roads and are obstructing traffic. Our staff or approved contractors carry out this work. Vehicles may also be in your area looking for and repairing faults. Don't try and stop a vehicle to report an outage. It will only delay them in getting to their next assigned restoration jobs.
What safety precautions should be followed when using a portable generator during an outage?
Improper use of portable generators can be dangerous and even deadly. It's important to observe the manufacturer's instructions. Do not connect a portable generator to the electrical wiring of your home or office, unless it has been permanently connected by a Northern Territory licensed electrical contractor.
Appliances should be plugged directly into the generator. It is also important to select the appropriate generator for your needs. Determine how many appliances you need to run at the same time and select a generator based on the total wattage.
Refer to our Generator safety and use page for more information.
I have solar panels, what should I do?
If you have solar panels, do not touch or go near them as they may still be 'live' even if the power is out. Contact a licensed electrician to check your system first.