A Victorian electricity company that left customers without power during the state's heatwave said it had to go ahead with essential works to comply with bushfire safety obligations.
Some SP AusNet customers had their electricity switched off on Tuesday morning so the company could carry out bushfire mitigation works.
SP AusNet said it began work earlier than originally stated so customers would be reconnected before temperatures hit their peak in the afternoon.
"We've increased resources for these jobs and brought forward start times, predominantly starting as early as 7am, to reconnect power before the hottest period of the day," a spokesperson said in a statement said.
Emily Healy, a resident from one of the affected towns Thoona, said they were warned about the interruption two weeks ago, but were caught out when the power was cut early.
"Our plan was to get up this morning and put the cooling on to try and cool the house, fill the dogs' water bottle up and everything," Ms Healy told Fairfax Radio.
"We've got no power, which means we've got no water - our water is reliant on electricity pump."
The SP AusNet spokesperson said the company had to replace at-risk power poles and undertake other essential bushfire mitigation works to comply with Energy Safe Victoria.
"Our safety obligations with Energy Safe Victoria stipulate we maintain a zero risk rating for our assets throughout the bushfire season," the statement said.
All non-essential maintenance has been postponed.
Much of the state is expected to hit 40-plus degrees on Tuesday.