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What happens behind the scenes during a power outage?

2020 was unique, to say the least. Contributing to the chaos was a record-breaking hurricane season, intense heat waves, lightning storms that sparked wildfires, and various other inclement weather concerns.

What do all these weather phenomena have in common? Unfortunately, they all had the potential to result in power outages.

In the U.S., we are fortunate to have an advanced power grid in place. Power transmission and distribution is reliable in our country, and we are proud to deliver the electricity you depend on each day. Excluding outage times attributed to major weather or other catastrophic events, electricity consumers in our country typically experience only about 2 hours of total power interruptions per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). When outages due to major events are taken into consideration, the EIA reports the total outage time at 6 hours a year.

What happens on our end when your power goes out? Rest assured we swing into action in a safe and efficient manner to ensure your power is restored. How long that takes depends on several factors: the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and how long it takes for our work crews to safely access the storm-damaged areas. We are careful to follow standard restoration procedures to ensure safety and to get the job done right by:

  • Assessing damage to utility equipment
  • Addressing immediate safety risks, including downed power lines
  • Ensuring that essential public health and safety facilities are operational
  • Prioritizing repairs that will restore power to the greatest number of people first
  • Evaluating power plants for damage and restore them to working order
  • Repairing transmission lines that carry power to large areas
  • Assessing and repairing substations, distribution lines and service lines to properties

Thank you for your patience during power outages. Know that in the event of an outage, we are working hard to restore it as safely and efficiently as possible, day and night.

For more information about preparing for outages or storms, or about electrical safety, go to SafeElectricity.org.