Q. Why do I sometimes get a busy signal when there is an outage?
A. A big outage can mean hundreds of members trying to call at the same time. We don’t have the phone lines or employees to answer all calls. Most likely if our phone lines are busy the outage or outages are recognized and crews are already being dispatched or possibly already working towards fixing it. Also, having your account information on hand when calling, and up to date in our system, can speed up the reporting process while shortening phone hold times.
Q. How long will it take to restore my power?
A. We may only be able to give you a rough estimate. Many factors play into restoring power, some of which are out of our control. Rest assured our employees will work as quickly as they can. If it’s a major outage, we’ll request help from our statewide Emergency Work Plan to request whatever additional personnel and equipment it will take to get the job done.
Q. Who gets their power restored first?
A. The priority is always to restore power to substations, then main feeders. If your outage is on an individual line it may take longer.
Q. Why do I see linemen driving by my house and not stopping to fix the problem?
A. Often they are patrolling the line to find the problem first. Or they may be going to an outage location that has to be repaired first before electricity can reach your service. If they have stopped working, they may be waiting for materials to be delivered so they can fix the problem.
Q. Why is my neighbor’s electricity on but mine is off?
A. Your service may actually be fed from a different circuit, your transformer may be damaged or an individual fuse may be blown. Sometimes, its not our lines, and a service line to your home could be damaged and need to be repaired by a licensed electrician first.
Q. Who is going to pay for my expenses that I incurred because of the power outage?
A. The ice storm was an act of God. It is the goal of the Cooperative to have continuous, uninterrupted service. In the case of interruption of service resulting from acts of God and other acts reasonably beyond our control, the Cooperative shall not be liable for damages, direct, indirect or consequential resulting from such interruption of service. You may contact your insurance provider to see if your homeowner’s insurance covers this expense. If your insurance company requests a letter from your power supplier just contact us and we will be glad to get you one.
Q. Will you be adjusting our bill next month because it took so long to restore power?
A. We will not be adjusting any electric bills due to power loss from the storm. We are a not-for profit organization, owned by our members. You pay for the kWh used on your meters. When your meter is not turning, you are not using kWh.
Q. I thought you have the new AMR (Automated Meter Reading) system, why couldn’t you tell whether or not my location had power?
A. Automated meters installed to remotely read meters can help indicate where outages are located. However, damage to the lines and ice that accumulated on the lines hindered communications with the system which prevented 100 percent knowledge of all outages. It is still important for members to call and report outages, especially if power lines are down or other obvious damage can be reported to the co-op dispatchers.
While you may not always understand our method of restoring your electricity, please trust that we are your Touchstone Energy Cooperative, and it’s our job to make sure you receive the safest, most reliable and lowest priced electricity possible.