How We Restore Power

Restoring power during a major storm takes much more than just flipping a switch or repairing one downed line. When storm damage extends throughout our service area, getting everyone’s lights back on can take time and it has to be done safely.

Pole Replacement on Sykes RoadSee a graphic that explains how we restore power. (Adobe PDF format)

We work year-round to ensure our electric system is safe, reliable and well maintained. Although we regularly repair and upgrade our electric system and trim or remove trees growing near the power lines, we can’t prevent every outage.

Restoring power during a major storm takes much more than just flipping a switch or repairing one downed line. When storm damage extends throughout our service area, getting everyone’s lights back on can take time and it has to be done safely. Our goal is to get the largest number of customers back on in the shortest amount of time. Here’s how we prioritize repairs to get the job done:

  1. Protect Public Safety by addressing potentially life-threatening situations.
  2. Repair Transmission Lines that supply power to substations.  If a BPA transmission line is damaged, their crews must repair it.
  3. Repair Substations that serve thousands of customers each.
  4. Repair Distribution Lines that carry power from substations throughout our service area.  When main distribution lines are re-energized, whole neighborhoods will have power restored.
  5. Fix Service lines that deliver power to individual homes and businesses. For your power to be on, the transmission line, the substation, the distribution line and the transformer serving your home or business must be energized.