Why does the power go out?
You'll always receive a notice from us if we're performing work that might interrupt your service. For example, we'll turn off the power when we perform maintenance or upgrade equipment. Here's our process:
- We'll let you know a day in advance.
- We'll give you a time range, and try to be as accurate as possible.
- Weather and operational issues may cancel a scheduled outage.
Your notice includes a code that indicates the type of work we'll be doing:
|A||General maintenance, like replacing transformers|
|WPM||Testing, repairing or replacing aged power poles|
|VM||Surveying or trimming vegetation near power lines|
|SG||Upgrading equipment to include modern technology|
|GR||Replacing natural gas pipeline|
|FR||Upgrading power poles, lines and other equipment on a specific branch of our distribution system|
|UR||Performing annual survey of natural gas lines|
Here's how you can prepare for a scheduled outage:
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
- Buy additional ice if necessary.
- Learn how to manually open your security gates and garage doors.
- Notify any security companies that monitor your home or business.
- Protect computers, television and other sensitive equipment from surges by unplugging them.
If your power goes out and you didn't receive a notice from us, report it. Or, call us at (800) 227-9187.
Lightning, wind, rain, snow, ice, even excessive heat and cold, can all impact electrical equipment.
Sometimes squirrels, raccoons or other animals come into contact with electrical equipment, and power goes out.
Fallen trees that bring down power lines, branches that become entangled with the lines, trees that grow into the equipment---sometimes nature finds a way to interfere, despite our best efforts.
You can help us manage some of these natural elements. Visit our Tree Safety section to learn more about keeping trees in check.
The insulators that attach the electric power line to our wood distribution poles can catch fire. It's rare, but it does happen. Here's why:
- Dirt and grime build-up
- Humid weather
- Cracks or lightning damage
One or all three of these things can contribute to an outage. A short circuit trips a switch, cutting power to the lines, much like the fuses or breakers in a house. The tripped switch causes an outage, which could be limited to a small area or could involve a large number of customers.
In some instances, our power lines connect to your home through a piece of equipment called the overhead mast:
Here's how it might cause an outage:
- If a tree falls into it, or a branch gets entangled, the overhead mast bends away from the house.
- Or, the fitting might break, compromising where the wire connects to the meter.
We might have to shut off your power as a result of either of these events. And, we'll need your help ---for safety reasons, we have to ask you to have a licensed electrician make the repairs before we can turn the power back on.