Many customers are planning to purchase or already own a generator. Generators must be installed properly or they can back-feed through the service line to the distribution lines, causing a serious safety hazard for the crews restoring power, and your neighbors who may think the power lines are dead. Generators should be connected to the building's electrical system using an approved transfer switch. The alternative is to plug selected appliances and equipment directly into the generator.
When a major power outage occurs, restoring electric service is often a complicated process. Damage to the utility's electric distribution system that is caused by wind, ice, lighting, trees, or other severe weather conditions usually is not isolated to one specific area. Under these conditions, EPUD’s primary objective is to get the power back on for everyone in the most systematic, efficient, and safe manner. That's why we use the TSDS system:
- (T) Transmission lines
- (S) Substations
- (D) Distribution lines
- (S) Service lines
When a widespread power outage occurs, the first location that service crews check is the substation. The substation is the source from which all power is distributed. Service crews then start working their way out along the main distribution lines, or "feeders." These main feeders are repaired first, followed by the lines serving groups of homes, and finally, repairs at individual homes are made. View our Steps to Restoring Power (PDF).
Once Emerald PUD is aware of the outage, an EPUD employee is immediately sent to patrol the outage area and identify the problem. The employee takes action to isolate the problem and restore power to as many customers as possible. Depending on the problem, a crew may have to be called to work on repairs. Outage lengths vary, depending on the severity of the problem. EPUD tries to change the front outage message to include all areas affected by outages within 30 minutes of the first notification.
Check your fuses and circuit breakers. Make sure that everyone in your family knows where the breaker box is located and how to handle fuses and breakers. If this isn't the source of the problem, call Emerald at (541) 746-1583. Turn off your electric water heater (usually the top left-hand circuit breaker) and unplug any solid-state electrical equipment (microwave, VCR, TV) so that it won't be damaged by a power overload when the electricity comes back on. Turn on your porch light or other outside light so that when our crews are in the area they can more easily see which houses have power and which don't. It also helps them know when and where the power is back on.
Power outages are most commonly caused by bad weather, trees contacting electric lines or equipment, motor vehicle accidents affecting electric equipment or facilities, equipment failure, or damage done by animals. Also, faulty wiring and equipment within your building can cause a localized power outage.
Call us at (541) 746-1583 anytime day or night, to report a power outage. You can also report an outage by logging into your account via SmartHub, Emerald's payment and account management system. (Download the SmartHub app to access your account from your mobile device.)
We do our best to ensure you have as few service interruptions as possible, but sometimes weather conditions or car accidents cause the power to go out. If you would like to receive proactive outage alerts and updates to your cell phone or mobile device, follow us on Twitter.