Bushfires and our network

Trucks in an area affected by bushfire

Power outages 

The NSW bushfires have caused significant damage to our network. Our crews are working to fix the damage and restore power to affected customers as quickly as possible. As we do this work, the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. 
 
Stay up to date with power outages in your area.

Some outages do not have an estimated time for power to be restored (Est. Time On), due to the extent of the damage and challenges gaining access, with difficult terrain and fire damage. Estimated restoration times will be provided via the power outages page as soon as they are available. 

Unfortunately, in some areas power may not be restored for a while due to the extent of the damage and challenges with gaining safe access.

Latest updates

Regular updates are also available on our Facebook page

23 November 2019 - 10:21 am

The power’s back on for more than 98% of the homes and businesses who lost power due to the fires, with 562 of 621 fire affected poles replaced.

We’ll have around 100 crew on the ground again this weekend, working to restore power in fire affected areas as quickly and safely as we can.

“Hazard” trees, resulting from bushfires and drought, still threaten power supply, so our vegetation management team has been working hard these past weeks to ensure our crew’s safety and to minimise the impacts of these trees on the network.

Customers who currently have power, may experience unplanned power interruptions during the day over the next few days, as short power outages will happen so that repairs can be safely undertaken.

Conditions permitting, we expect to have the power back on for all our bushfire affected communities by mid next week.

19 November 2019 - 5:15 pm

Across the north coast today, 200 crew members on the ground have been working to restore power quickly and safely to homes and businesses impacted by the bushfires.

We’ve replaced 479 poles out of 588 identified and 64 poles replaced yesterday alone, meaning we could get power back to more than 480 customers.

As we finish up day 12 of the fire response, the strong focus on our crew’s safety has seen an injury and incident free response effort. Reminding all our community to stay safe and thanking you for your support and understanding.

17 November 2019 - 8:30 pm

More than 300 personnel on the ground have worked over the weekend to replace power poles destroyed by the fires still burning across the north coast. The total number of power poles replaced is 415, 75 per cent of the 565 identified as destroyed in last week’s bushfires. Read the full media release

16 November 2019 - 7:11 pm

So far crews have replaced nearly 290 poles of 560 poles damaged in the Northern NSW bush fires, allowing power to be restored to additional customers yesterday and today. We continue to work to safely restore supply to customers.

Active fires and previously damaged trees have unfortunately caused some new outages and we currently have approximately 1,400 customers without power.

Bush fire smoke has prevented aerial patrols of our network in some fire impacted areas. Damaged, fallen and smouldering trees are also preventing access across many roads and trails – 300 field staff have been mobilised from across Essential Energy along with heavy and light vehicles and additional support team members from across the business. Our focus remains on safety for the team on ground while we focus on restoring power as safely and quickly as possible.

Please continue to monitor www.essentialenergy.com.au for information with regards to outages and estimated time to restore your power supply.

We would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and patience as our teams do their best to get the power back on safely. Please continue to monitor the RFS website to ensure you are aware of the fire situation and stay safe. 

14 November 2019 - 5:57 pm

Today our crews were able to safely restore power to some customers in the Clarence, Nambucca and Macleay Valley areas.

We were able to gain access for the first time to a number of areas where our crews were able to investigate and confirm the extent of damage to the network. However, we have large areas of the network we’re yet to assess because access is not yet safe or allowed by authorities. We’re also using helicopters to assess our network where it is safe to do so to speed up the process.

Unfortunately, in some areas power might not be restored for a number of days or up to a week. We’re in the process of confirming these areas and will provide estimated restoration times on our website when available.

So far, we’ve used almost 42,000 items of equipment, replaced 120+ cross arms and 31 transformers with power pole replacements continuing. We’ve still got a lot work remaining with site access being our largest challenge due to fallen trees and the ongoing fire risk.

We have however safely replaced 94 poles across the fire area since Saturday in very challenging conditions.

14 November 2019 - 12:44 pm

The NSW bushfires have caused significant damage to the network with more than 445 power poles needing replacing, with this number expected to increase.

Our crews are assessing the damage in areas where they have safe access, however not all areas are accessible due to fires or trees blocking roads and tracks.

Teams are working together from across the state to help with the important restoration work and to restore power as soon as safely possible.

Please remain safe and stay at least eight meters away from any damaged electricity infrastructure.

As new information is received our outages page will be updated.

13 November 2019 - 9:03 am

Due to the State Wide Emergency alert issued for today Essential Energy has the following in place:

  • All planned power outages cancelled for today (Wednesday 13 November) across our entire network
  • In consultation with the RFS regarding access, we are scoping and replacing the 400 poles which have to date been fire damaged with an expected increase
  • We are mobilising crews and fleet across the state to support the response effort
  • We will also continue to work closely with the RFS and other agencies to respond to critical emergencies across the state
  • Unless the RFS directs us to; or our electrical infrastructure is further damaged; we will be keeping the power on
  • A fully resourced Contact Centre is operational 24/7 to respond to emergency calls from our customers (132080)

Thanks for your patience and understanding please stay safe today.

12 November 2019 - 2:10 pm

With the ongoing fire risk all Essential Energy planned power outages for tomorrow (13th November) have been cancelled. Please stay safe and keep up to date with the fire situation at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

12 November 2019 - 7:53 am

The safety of our community and our employees is always our priority.

Due to the State Wide Emergency alert issued for today, Essential Energy has the following in place:

  • Cancelled all planned power outages for today (Tuesday 12 November) across our entire network
  • Teams will be on standby and working closely with the RFS and other agencies to respond to critical emergencies across the state
  • Unless the Rural Fire Service directs us to disconnect; or our electrical infrastructure is further damaged; we will be keeping the power on
  • A fully resourced Contact Centre is operational 24/7 to respond to emergency calls from our customers (132080)

For more information

Visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website
View the RFS Fires Near Me website
Monitor road closures from the Live Traffic NSW website
Read our bushfire safety information
View the latest power outage information