What does El Paso Electric do to manage a major storm?
El Paso Electric operations personnel continually monitor regional weather reports to be prepared for impending storms. This allows EPE to work on staffing for restoration efforts even before the storm hits. Upon notification of an impending storm or event, EPE implements its base outage restoration plan which includes initiating a “Storm Call” with various departments in the Company, identifying contacts from each area and determining the level and location of additional resources.
During major storm efforts, EPE customer service centers operate in "storm mode," using extra telephone lines and bringing in additional representatives to serve customers better. They also employ advanced telephone technologies to handle the unusually large volume of customer calls. This technology allows customers to report an outage without speaking to a representative and helps EPE provide status updates regarding the restoration effort.
How does El Paso Electric handle tree damage?
El Paso Electric contractors conduct tree trimming throughout the year to keep power lines free of limbs and debris. Following a storm, these contractors must remove fallen trees and limbs from electrical equipment that are preventing service restoration. However, El Paso Electric contractors do not remove storm debris and move the debris only if it is necessary to facilitate the restoration effort.
Do not attempt to remove a tree limb or debris yourself if it is within 10 feet of a power line and stay completely away from any downed power line or sparking equipment. If you notice downed lines or sparking equipment, please call El Paso Electric’s trouble and outage lines. - in Texas, (915) 877-3400; in New Mexico, (575) 523-7591.
For tree removal not associated with a power line, you will need to call a landscape or tree contractor.
Why do I sometimes experience brief outages that call for resetting of appliances?
These outages occur when protective devices, called reclosers, operate. When a recloser detects an object interfering with a line, it will de-energize the line briefly to determine if the interference is a temporary or permanent fault on the line. If the recloser determines that the interference was temporary, the line will re-energize. If the interference is detected to be prolonged, the recloser will de-energize the line and EPE crews will investigate and repair the problem.
Why is my power out, but my neighbor’s is on?
There are several possibilities. You may be on different circuits, OR you could have damage to the line, transformer, fuse or switch that serves your home, but your neighbor’s is fine.
How does EPE decide whose power is restored first?
Power will be restored by priority. Hospitals, emergency response agencies, other public utilities and large circuits are restored first. Restoration then continues based on a number of customers affected and the length of the outage.
Why can’t I get an estimate of how long it will be before my power is restored?
During an outage event, while crews move quickly to restore power to all customers, restoration time varies by location and issue. Crews assess damage at the scene and make repairs or call for additional equipment or manpower, depending on the problem. A fuse can take a few minutes to repair; a transformer can take a couple of hours to replace. In general, underground cable or transformer repairs take longer than repairs on overhead equipment. Restoration time varies by location and issue.
Why does my neighborhood have outages more often than others?
Most likely, the answer is trees. If you live in an older neighborhood, with big trees, you’re more likely to experience outages AND momentary interruptions in service due to fallen trees and branches blowing into electrical lines. If there are no trees in the area, then this issue should be reported to EPE so that we can send someone out to investigate.