Reporting an Outage
In large outage events, estimated times for restoration may be unavailable.
Tips for Outages
SVEC makes every effort to have power restored to members as quickly and safely as possible. The cooperative prioritizes restoration by first working scenes that will bring the most people back on. When available, estimated times for restoration will be provided in the online Outage Center and through the free MySVEC app. In the case of widespread outages, these estimated times may not be provided.
The cooperative would like to offer these tips in case of an outage:
- Do not make any attempts to clear trees or other debris from power lines
- Note the location, and any other important information regarding these situations, and please contact SVEC immediately at (800) 234-7832
- The cooperative will work to ensure that power is restored as soon as possible
- Avoid contact with downed power lines
- To report an outage, contact SVEC at (800) 234-7832
- Report even if you think your neighbor may have called
- It is more effective for SVEC to know the location of all outages
- Please do not report outages through SVEC’s social media channels or via email
- Download the the free MySVEC app to report your outage and more
How SVEC Responds
The outage restoration process begins at the point where the power feeds into SVEC’s system. This could be a substation, transmission line, or a main distribution line. After these repairs have been made, crews work on remaining outages and correct the trouble, beginning with areas serving the greatest number of consumers and continuing until electricity is restored to each consumer’s home.
For additional information on outage restoration priorities, please visit our Outage Restoration page.
If you see an SVEC service crew passing but not stopping, it is because work must first be performed at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to you and your neighbors. Following the outage restoration process ensures all consumers have their power restored as quickly and as safely as possible.
It depends on 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 are located on a different circuit than the circuit your home is on.
Each outage is a result of different circumstances, and some may take longer to identify and restore than others. As a result, during storm-related outages, restoration information may not be immediately available.
Before the Storm
SVEC suggests creating an outage preparation kit that includes a portable radio, batteries, flashlight and fully charged mobile phone (and a corded phone if you have a landline). Store this kit in a designated place so it is easy to find. Find more information on our Outage Preparedness page.
Following severe thunder, wind, snow, or ice storms, it’s important to remember damage to SVEC’s distribution system may be extreme. In that case, it could take numerous hours, or even several days, to complete repairs. In case of severe storms, 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.
A lightning strike or downed power lines can send a surge of electricity through your home, potentially damaging appliances. Computers, TVs, and other electronic equipment are expensive investments that are worth protecting from storm-related damage. Surge protectors provide a defense against power spikes and surges. Contact SVEC for more information regarding the TESCO Surge Protection System (PDF).
If the Power Goes Out
Immediately after a storm, SVEC is aware of damage to distribution circuits, power lines, and substations. However, to ensure we are also aware of your outage, please call your Cooperative anytime your power is out at (800) 234-7832. Please do not assume that others have reported the outage. By calling any time you experience an outage, you help our crews respond more efficiently and restore your service more quickly.
Before calling to report an outage:
Check your home’s breaker panel (and any outdoor disconnects) to make sure the outage is not due to a tripped breaker. Call your neighbors to see if their power is off. This will help you determine if the problem exists within your home, or on SVEC lines. If you determine the problem is outside your home, call your Cooperative to report your outage. Please have the following information available when you call: account name, street address, home phone, and if you know it, the cause of the outage.
A generator can be a wonderful tool during an outage, especially in helping keep the frozen food in your refrigerator cool. But, it can also be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Please view the Generator Safety article (PDF) for more information.
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.
If you have blinking lights sporadically, there is probably nothing to worry about, and it’s not worth reporting. If you see them regularly, please contact Member Services at 1-800-234-7832 and report the issue so that it can be further investigated. It’s subjective, of course, on what someone determines as sporadic versus regular.
Unless the outage is sustained, the event should not be reported as an outage. SVEC consistently receives outage tickets when it was merely a blink that was seen by the member. That can influence our overall operations, if crews are assigned to situations that don’t warrant an outage response.
There are a few ways we respond to these issues. If we can tie the blinks to data pulled from our system, the blinks can likely be explained in short order, and the member will be contacted and informed. If we can’t explain the blinks from that approach, a crew can be dispatched to the location to check connections and verify our equipment is in proper working order. In these cases, we may find a loose connection at the transformer, the meter base, etc., and the issue is resolved.
We may go to the location and find that the problem is on the members’ side and advise them to contact an electrician (it may be a breaker issue, etc.) since we do not work past the meter base. In more extreme cases, if we have exhaustively patrolled the line and found nothing and the blinks keep happening, we can install fault indicators in the area to try to narrow down the culprit on the line.
Consider all fallen wires to be energized, regardless of whether or not they appear to be safe. Report the fallen power line to your cooperative immediately at (800) 234-7832. 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 up to two days if the freezer is full and the doors remain closed. Learn more about food safety in a power outage by viewing the American Red Cross Food Safety web page.
Some situations can arise causing SVEC to lose service from the supplier of its electricity. When this occurs in your area, SVEC consumers lose service because the electricity supplied to the Cooperative’s lines is interrupted at its source. Although not a direct result of damage to SVEC’s lines, this situation still causes an outage. SVEC works closely with the supplier of its power to minimize these occurrences.