Why do outages occur?
Electricity is supplied from the electricity generating station to the customer through a series of cables, transformers and circuit breakers. If a fault occurs at one or more points on this electrical system a circuit breaker may trip to turn off the power to protect the equipment from damage (or further damage) and to isolate any potential danger. Any customer who is downstream of the circuit breaker that trips will be without power until the fault is either isolated or corrected or power can be supplied from an alternative point on the electrical system.
What causes these outages?
Outages can be caused by tripping of a generator, normal wear and tear on equipment, exposure to a corrosive environment, bad connections, malfunctioning of equipment, weather conditions, trees touching or falling on lines, damage due to third party (e.g. vehicle striking a pole) and several other factors. There may also be planned outages to carry out maintenance on lines.
Why are planned outages required?
These are necessary for us to maintain the electricity poles and lines. Sometimes they are also necessary to upgrade or add new poles, lines, and equipment to the distribution system to provide supply to other customers or to improve the quality of service. Where possible, switching is done to avoid customers being affected. However, sometimes it is necessary to turn off the power to customers for us to carry out this work.
Are customers informed when there is a planned outage?
We inform all customers who will be affected several days before planned outages so they can make appropriate arrangements for the period of the outage.
What should I do if my power goes off?
First check to see if power to others in the area is off. If it is not, check your main circuit breakers to see if either one has tripped (often there are two main breakers - one by the meter and one in the main panel if the meter is more than 2 metres from the main panel). If these are OK you can call our emergency number at (246) 626-9000. If the outage covers a larger area, be patient when calling as several other customers may be also trying to get through. Let others in the area know when you receive information on an outage.