When your power goes out, there are a number of steps our crews go through before they can turn your lights back on. Much of the process is determined by the cause and extent of the outage.
Power is restored according to a plan that enables us to help the greatest number of people in the least amount of time. The process follows a sequence based on the design of our electric distribution system.
We start at the source of the power and work our way to your house.
- Transmission line. This is the most important because it sends 110,000 volts from the generating source to each of our eight substations.
- Substations. Each steps down power from 110,000 volts to 7,200 volts, and then sends power to the distribution system through feeder lines.
- Main distribution lines or feeders. We have 33 of them throughout our 112-square-mile service territory.
- Tap lines. They come off the distribution lines and serve groups of homes or businesses.
- Individual services. Also referred to as service drops or secondaries, they are insulated lines that serve individual homes. Often, they are the lines that go directly from a pole to your house.
Safety is our priority for our employees, first responders, and members. Especially during emergency situations, that might mean we take additional meters out of service to make an area safe. Even though we put special grounding equipment in place to secure the area, we ask anyone who comes across a downed power line to stay away from the area.
Our crews diligently work to restore your power. Once they determine the cause of the outage, they get right to work removing branches, making repairs, or replacing equipment.
If you have an outage, call (877) 853-1388 or sign up for our outage texting service by texting “penlight” to 857-00. Your cellphone number must be registered to your account to use this service. Call (253) 857-5950 to do so.
To find out more information during a larger event, you can use a battery-powered laptop, smartphone, or tablet and go to our Outage Map at outages.penlightop.org. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@PenLightCo). Updates are based on a certain threshold of members without power and availability of information.