Outage Tips

Electric service is one of the most reliable services you can purchase. PSREC works very hard to minimize power outages through many preventative maintenance programs.

From time to time, PSREC’s system requires maintenance that may result in a scheduled and planned outage. We try to plan these at times when there will be the least amount of inconvenience. When possible, members will be notified in advance of the planned outages to further minimize inconvenience.

But there are times when an unplanned power interruption will occur. PSREC cannot control the weather or prevent unforeseen events. You can be sure that we are ready to serve you quickly and efficiently in the event of a power interruption.

Illustration titled Power Outage Priorities: (A) Transmission lines and substation facilities that carry large power loads are repaired first. (B) Next, major distribution lines are repaired to restore power to essential services. (C) Other distribution lines then are repaired, with the order of repairs based on restoring power to the greatest number of customers possible. (D) Finally, power is restored to individual homes. If the problem is in the house wiring, responsibility for the repair may fall the the consumer.

Keep the following information in mind should an unplanned power outage occur.

Prepare for power outages

Planning ahead for unexpected power outages can help make the best of a bad situation. Equip your home with a power outage kit that includes:

  • A flashlight, battery powered lamp or lantern, and extra batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Easily accessible emergency phone numbers for your utility, doctor, fire and police
  • A telephone connected directly to the phone jack. Cordless phones need electricity to operate
  • Blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothes
  • A one week supply of drinking water and non-perishable food
  • A cooler for storing frequently used foods. Food spoils more quickly if the refrigerator door is opened
  • A manual can opener
  • An alternative cooking source
  • Firewood, if you have a fireplace or woodstove
  • A deck of cards, board games and books to stay entertained

If someone in your home depends on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, make a plan for backup power.

Please install surge protectors on any sensitive electronics and appliances. Be sure to buy surge protectors that have a warranty for your connected load.

Is your business prepared for an unexpected power outage?

Being prepared for a power outage can help keep your business functioning.

  • Have a response plan, and make sure employees know what to do if there is an outage
  • Identify electrical panels and know how to turn off power, especially to key equipment
  • Install and maintain emergency lighting

Look at your essential business equipment and functions. Estimate the financial impact of losing power to those operations. Compare this to the cost of a backup power system to determine if it is a viable option.

Protect Your Equipment

Before an outage:

  • Cash registers/POS — have a backup option that does not require electricity
  • Computers — use good quality surge protectors and use uninterruptible power supplies to prevent data loss

During an outage:

  • Safety — do not operate machinery if ventilation, fire suppression or other safety systems are not functioning
  • Refrigeration — to preserve food, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during an outage
  • Unplug — protect sensitive electronics that do not have surge protectors by unplugging them

What to do if the power goes out

Check your fuses and circuit breakers. If some of your lights work, the trouble is probably on your side of the meter and you should contact an electrician.

Note if your neighbors are also without power. It is beneficial for us to know if several members are out of service.

Note the approximate time the power went off.

Report outages to PSREC. Our service personnel are prepared to serve you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays.

During a major power outage our telephone lines can get very busy; please be patient and call back if you receive a busy signal. We will respond as promptly as possible to any service interruption call we receive. In cases of a major power outage, it can take some time to restore power to all customers. Your patience and understanding are deeply appreciated.

How members can help during an outage

  • As soon as lights start to flicker, turn everything off except for one light
  • Protect sensitive electronics by unplugging them at the wall
  • Turn off breakers to large heating or cooling loads
  • Keep refrigeration units closed as much as possible to retain cold air

During a power outage, please disconnect all nonessential electrical loads. Every light and appliance turned off will help PSREC re-energize more of our system. If our power transmission system is constrained, conservation helps keep our electrical system stable and enables us to serve both you and your neighbors.

As power is restored, please conserve. Leave off all non-essential loads until PSREC returns to its primary power source. We will provide confirmation through various communication channels listed below under Outage Updates.

Generators

Some members use an electric generator as a standby system to keep lights and appliances running until power is restored.

Illustration of an electric generatorA generator can help save food in your refrigerator and power other essential equipment, but it can also pose serious safety hazards to you and to others, so please follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Before starting your generator, carefully read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure that the total electric load on your generator will not exceed the manufacturer’s rating. Always place your generator where its exhaust will vent safely.

The law requires that members with a permanently installed or portable generator do not connect it to another power source, such as PSREC’s power lines. If you own and operate a generator, you are responsible for making sure that electricity from your unit cannot “backfeed,” or flow into PSREC’s power lines. For safety’s sake, be sure to use your generator correctly; hire a licensed electrician to install a transfer switch that distributes power from the generator to your home’s circuit box. A double-pole, double-throw transfer switch is recommended to keep your generator from backfeeding into PSREC’s system. The switch also keeps PSREC’s power from re-energizing your house while your generator is running, protecting your equipment when power is restored.

If you do not install and operate your generator properly, you risk damaging your property and endangering your life and the lives of PSREC line workers who may be working on power lines. You are responsible for any injuries or damage to your property, your neighbors’ or PSREC’s, from an improperly installed or operated generator.

Life Support Equipment

If someone in your home depends on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, make a plan for backup power.

PSREC’s Life Line Program flags accounts in the system for special notification of individuals who rely on electricity for life support or special medical equipment.

If you or someone in your home has special medical equipment, please contact the PSREC office during normal business hours and ask to be put on the Life Line List. Please provide us with a land line or cell phone number as wireless phones do not work without electricity.

Members on the Life Line List will be contacted if there are any planned outages on the system that might effect their service. All PSREC members, including those on the Life Line List, are expected to pay their bills in a timely manner to avoid disconnection of service.

Outage Updates

During extended, system-wide power outages, PSREC will send text and e-mail updates. To sign up for text notifications, text PSREC to 95577. To sign up for email notifications, visit the subscription page for our email newsletter.