Posted on July 20, 2022

El Paso Electric is Prepared for the Summer

Power outages are more common in hot weather months than at other times of the year

EL PASO, Texas – With high temperatures continuing to rise, El Paso Electric (EPE) has additional crews and resources to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

EPE Prepares for Outages During Hot Weather

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. We stock 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.

Reasons for Outages During the Summer

  • 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 have replaced.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Understanding the Power Restoration

Power outages are never expected but when they do happen, EPE is committed to restoring your power as quickly and safely as possible. Our dedicated power restoration team and repair crews are on call 24/7, ready to handle any issue, anywhere. To see the process, click here.

Be prepared for a Power Outage

  • Prepare an outage kit that includes flashlights, battery-powered or wind-up alarm clock, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, a manual can opener and first-aid kit.
  • Know the location of your home’s fuse box or circuit box.
  • Automatic garage door openers don’t work if the power is out. Check the instruction booklet for manual override.

Tips when experiencing a power outage

  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer doors. A full, unopened freezer should keep food frozen up to 48 hours. Food should stay cold in an unopened refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Disconnect appliances that would go on automatically when power is restored or that may become damaged due to voltage irregularities. These appliances include computers and televisions.
  • Candles can be fire hazards. Never place them near flammable materials and never leave them unattended.

Remember, our customers’ safety is our number one priority.

About El Paso Electric

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission, and distribution service to approximately 450,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000-square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

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