THE power outage that affected all of Viti Levu on Wednesday was caused by a faulty relay at the Wailoa power station in Monasavu.
Fiji Electricity Authority CEO Hasmukh Patel said the fault disrupted power services from 11:27am.
"Because it became faulty — equipment do malfunction sometimes," Mr Patel said.
He said their technicians had worked as fast as they could to find the problem. During this time they had used back-up diesel-powered generators to supply electricity to key areas in various cities and towns.
Power was restored to Viti Levu at 5:15pm.
Fiji Retailers Association president Himmat Lodhia said the power outage had affected a lot of businesses, especially with the timing of the disruption.
"We received a lot of complaints owing to the suddenness of the cuts and then followed up with no reports," he said.
Mr Lodhia advised the authority to maintain communication with its customers in the future when such outage occur.
"Our problems loom from loss of business, damage to frozen goods, damage to electrical items and a general security problem. Staff welfare is also a concern to most employers because of uncertainty.
"One of the future communication arrangements can be mass mailing by SMS by FEA via Vodafone and Digicel. To make it cost-effective for FEA, we are certain they can go into negotiations with the mobile companies for this essential information. SMS is convenient because during power failure, most radios and TV do not work."
Mr Patel said the faulty relay had been replaced and apologised to customers for the inconvenience caused by the disruption.
"The replacement was more than the cost of the relay, but such malfunctions do happen."