Outages During the Summer Months

El Paso Electric is Prepared for the Summer
Power outages are more common in hot weather months than at other times of the year.  During the summer, two events affect El Paso Electric’s electrical system: storms and overloaded electrical equipment caused by an increased demand for power

During emergencies EPE has additional crews and resources to restore power as quickly as possible. Outages occur when circuit breakers or other protective equipment shut off the flow of power in order to prevent further damage to the electrical system.

linemen work on transformer

Planning for outages during hot weather

Because EPE has been serving the west Texas and the southern New Mexico region for 113 years, EPE has developed strategies that help minimize the effects of outages that occur during these months for our customers.

  • During the spring, EPE prepares for the very hot summer months common in our area.  We use this time to do maintenance on our generation equipment as well as to upgrade our transmission and distribution lines and equipment. 
  • EPE stocks up on equipment that is commonly affected during the summer months.
  • EPE also makes arrangements to have crews available to make sure these types of outages are resolved as quickly as possible.  

Report all power outages by calling (915) 877-3400 in Texas or (575) 523-7591 in New Mexico.

Increased demand
During hot weather months, EPE customers naturally increase their use of air conditioners which run for longer periods as the heat continues into the late afternoon and evening hours. In recent years, more EPE customers have also switched to refrigerated-air units which use more energy compared to the evaporative cooling units that they replace. 

Overloaded equipment
The additional demand for power may overload electric lines, transformers and other equipment used to deliver electricity. Sustained electric demand during hot weather may not allow transformers time to cool properly overnight, causing them to overheat and damage the electrical equipment. Outages related to overloaded transformers don’t affect the majority of EPE’s customers. Once EPE identifies the problem, EPE’s crews replace the damaged equipment with equipment that can handle bigger loads.

lightning

Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are the number one cause of customer outages on EPE’s electric system.  More accurately, it is the lightning and wind bursts that accompany a thunderstorm that usually cause the outages.  The energy of a lightning strike is difficult to overcome, but EPE has deployed lightning arrestors and extensive grounding on system equipment to help prevent these outages as much as possible.  EPE also has an aggressive tree trimming and line clearing program to help reduce tree/wind-caused outages.  EPE continually monitors the weather for approaching thunderstorms and calls additional crews into service, in advance, to help respond quickly to outages when the storm hits our system.

El Paso Electric
Trouble and Outage Lines
TX: (915) 877-3400 
NM: (575) 523-7591