The term load shedding is used to describe switching off electricity supply to parts of the electricity network. This includes switching off customers who are connected to the effected part of the network. While this practice is rare, it is a critical part of network safety management practices when certain circumstances arise. All electricity networks include load shedding as an essential part of dealing with supply imbalances in the network.
What causes load shedding?
Load shedding can be triggered by a number of factors; however, they are caused by an imbalance in demand (customers’ usage) and supply (the ability of the electricity network to generate and transport the required amount of electricity to meet the demand).
It’s usually a combination of three factors that could cause a supply and demand imbalance:
Examples of how a combination of these factors can result in a load shedding event could be: periods of sustained hot weather when the consumption of electricity exceeds the available supply, or an unexpected loss of generation or damage to transmission equipment such as transmission towers.
Types of load shedding
There are two main types of load shedding:
In particular circumstances, for example when directed to load shed by AEMO, the loss of supply is shared across groups of customers. In this circumstance, customers are usually only off supply for one to two hours before the outage is shifted to a different area on the network.
What do you need to do?
While we don’t want any customers to be without power, we cannot guarantee there won’t be outages. The best thing to do is be prepared. You are encouraged to read our Preparing for Power Outages page.
Faults and emergencies
To report faults or emergencies,