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The severe power outages that affected hundreds of thousands of Victorians after the 13 February storms have been resolved, with AusNet announcing that power has been restored to all affected customers. 

Since the storms, AusNet crews have worked day and night to restore the network to more than 360,000 AusNet customers who were left without power as a result of the unprecedented storm damage to the network. At the peak of the storm, 255,000 AusNet customers were without electricity at the same time. 

AusNet CEO, David Smales, thanked customers for their patience as the damages were dealt with. 

“I would also like to apologise for the time it took to restore power to some of our customers and the difficulty we had with our Outage Tracker,” Mr Smales said.

“We understand how frustrating and inconvenient this outage was. But I want to assure our customers we worked as hard as we could to restore power after what was the biggest storm event we’ve ever experienced across our network in terms of customer impact. There was significant damage to power poles, transformers, and other infrastructure as a result of the wind and vegetation damage.

“More than 85 per cent of our customers were restored within 48 hours. However, the utter destruction and remote nature of our network made restoration extremely difficult. About 12,000km of our distribution network was surveyed and repaired, which is approximately a quarter of our network.”

Reconnecting customers to power has involved the cooperation of hundreds of people from across AusNet’s business, its delivery partners, and with the help of emergency services and volunteers. AusNet currently estimates that over 95,000 personnel hours have been involved in the restoration of its network alone.

AusNet is currently working with community groups about how to support more readiness and resilience across its network for the future.

More than 200,000 AusNet customers will receive a Major Event Day payment which will be automatically credited to their electricity bill. This applies to AusNet customers who have had more than 12 hours of unplanned sustained interruptions. 

Prolonged power outage payments from the Federal and Victorian governments have also been made available to customers who were without power for seven days from 13 February 2024. Customers have already started receiving these payments from AusNet with a quarter of eligible customers already processed for payment since the program opened.

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