GAS and hot water outages left Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Torquay and Jan Juc households in the cold last week, with the gas supplier warning it could happen again soon.
Hundreds of residents have taken to social media to share their frustrations, with some sharing their most recent message from AusNet Services.
It reads: “We are forecasting a high demand for Gas usage on Mon, Tues & Weds this week in Barwon Heads, Torquay & Jan Juc. We are increasing our Gas supply to meet demand however if you experience any gas issues, please report them to our 24/7 customer services team by calling 13 67 07.”
AusNet Services has confirmed that some fringe areas of its network on the Bellarine and Surf Coast has been experiencing low gas pressures caused by a usage “surge” in the region.
“Last week, we had a small number of customers on the fringe of the network in Torquay, Jan Juc and Barwon Heads experienced low gas pressures as monitored by our systems,” an AusNet Services spokesperson said.
“We would like to apologise to those customers for the inconvenience caused to them.
“Sometimes those located on the urban fringe can be impacted by a surge in usage upstream during peak periods of 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm.
“We have been working hard in the last week to modify aspects of the network and it is performing well.
“We remain committed to understanding more about any issues our customers may be facing in the area.
“Customers experiencing low or no gas supply should reach out to our customer team on 13 67 07.”
The issue arose in Barwon Heads and Ocean Gove last Wednesday as the region shivered through one of its coldest nights, with the mercury dropping to 5.5 degrees C.
But it appears the gas outages have been a regular occurrence for residents in Torquay and Jan Juc during winter.
The New OGBH Community Noticeboard attracted more than 110 comments from locals who shared their frustrations.
Michelle Floyd Smith said she had cold air blowing out of the heating vents, while Isa Nash said she had no heating or hot water in Barwon heads, which was the first time after moving to the town five months ago.
“How can the gas supply be limited on such a cold night?” she said.
Sarah Dougherty said this also happened to her 12 years ago when she lived in the Parks estate.
“It was an Ausnet supply issue due to increased demand in very cold weather, I was told it was because our area was at end of the line,” she said.
“Clearly an issue they’ve been unable to resolve in 12 years (it’s been a recurring problem when very cold in last couple of years too), instead they just keep supplying more and more new developments with the inadequate line/supply.”
The gas supply issue comes after AusNet Services increased the gas capacity to Ocean Grove back in 2016, with the construction of an alternative gas supply into the Kingston Ocean Grove Estate near Evergreen Circuit.