Who gets power restored first? Why can't you tell me exactly how long my power will be out?
All the answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.
Each outage is a result of different circumstances, and some may take longer to identify and restore than others. Oftentimes, our linemen are working in severe weather and at night, and unable to report back to the office very often. As a result, outage restoration information may not be immediately available.
In some areas of our service territory, linemen must physically walk through rough terrain to investigate the cause of an outage, which can be time consuming. In other instances, linemen may be able to re-route power before they work on an outage, and the outage is a shorter duration.
PCEA provides updates the best we can on our automated outage phone system and updates them with new information as it becomes available. In large outage situations, PCEA posts information on our Facebook, Twitter and website.
After hours and during widespread outage situations, PCEA will activate our call center to receive hundreds of member calls. This call center allows us to take hundreds of member calls during a large outage.
The outage restoration process begins at the point where power feeds into PCEA's system. This could be at a substation, transmission line or a main distribution line. After these repairs have been made, crews work on remaining outages and correct the issue, beginning with areas serving the greatest number of members and continuing until electricity is restored to each members' home.
If you see a PCEA truck passing but not stopping, it is because work must first be performed at a nearby location or device before electric service can be restored to your home. Following the outage restoration process ensures all members have their power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
It depends upon the cause of the outage. Remember to check and make sure your power is not out because of an electrical problem inside your home, such as a tripped breaker. If your neighbor has electricity and you do not, more than likely, they receive their electricity from a different power line or substation. It also depends upon the fusing of the particular power line your home is fed from.
PCEA maintains a list of members who have medical equipment that requires electricity. PCEA will give members with special medical needs priority in the restoration of their electric service whenever it is reasonably possible to do so. If you have a special medical need, you can apply to get added to this list by calling PCEA at 1-800-619-1040.
It is important to remember that extensive damage to our electric system could take numerous hours, or even several days, to completely repair. Members who must have electricity should be prepared with an emergency backup plan. The plan could include arrangements to move to an alternative location, use of a portable generator and/or installation of a battery backup on important electrical devices.
Consider all fallen wires to be energized, regardless of whether or not they appear to be safe. Report the fallen power line to PCEA immediately. Make sure your children, pets and neighbors stay away from the power line and any objects it may be touching.
To minimize the loss of food during a power outage, limit the number of times you open your refrigerator or freezer door. If the doors remain closed, refrigerated food can remain safely cold for about four hours; frozen food can remain safe for two days if the freezer is full and the doors remain closed.
A generator can be a wonderful tool during an outage, especially if you have special medical needs and require electricity. But, it can also be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Be aware that it’s against the law, and a violation of electrical codes, to connect a generator to your home’s electrical circuits without a generator transfer switch automatic-interrupt device. Otherwise, if a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard. In addition, the improper connection of a generator to your home’s electrical circuits may endanger service crews helping to restore power in your area. Read more generator safety tips here.