How is power restored? Here's the answer

How is power restored? Here's the answer

When the power grid is damaged, energy companies take a methodical approach to restoration

During power outages, customers often ask two questions.

The first is: “The weather is better, and Duke Energy trucks keep passing my house. Why is my power still out?”

And the second: “Why is my neighbor’s power on but mine isn’t?”

The answer to the first is that there is usually damage to the grid that you can’t see from your home. Duke Energy has a methodical approach to restoration, and crews start by restoring power to critical infrastructure like hospitals and fire departments. At the same time, they are working to repair the transmission system, which carries electricity directly from power plants and could be many miles away.

What to do if power goes out

If your power is out, alert your energy company.

Duke Energy Carolinas: 800.769.3766 

Duke Energy Progress: 800.419.6356

Duke Energy Florida: 800.228.8485

Duke Energy Indiana: 800.343.3525

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky: 800.543.5599

Consider all downed power lines and anything touching them energized. Report power line hazards to Duke Energy.

More information: Duke-Energy.com/outages

Crews then work to restore the lines and equipment that serve the greatest number of customers – it’s similar to de-icing the interstate and main roads before working on less traveled neighborhood streets.

If we think of the energy grid like a road system, transmission lines are like interstates carrying the most energy across regions to communities. Once electricity gets to the communities, it passes through a substation, which is a lot like an interstate off-ramp because it reduces the voltage so it is compatible with smaller lines.

These smaller lines are called distribution feeders and are comparable to main city roads. From the main roads, the electricity breaks off into neighborhood streets – the tap lines – and eventually to your driveway, which is the individual service line that runs to your home.

As large sections are repaired, more customers receive power, and the electricity is able to get closer to your house. Sometimes you might notice that your neighbor’s power has come back but yours has not, which is a frustrating experience for many people. Neighborhoods can be served by different lines and equipment, so it’s possible that there’s damage farther away that still needs repair.

When you see trucks roaming your neighborhood, know that they are likely assessing damage to determine the best plan for restoring power in the safest, quickest way possible.

What Duke Energy is doing to reduce outages

Click here to learn more about grid improvements that will help Duke Energy improve reliability for customers, protect the grid against storms and cyberattacks, and quicken its response after a major storm. The ultimate goal is to provide power that stays on and, if there is an outage, to make sure it’s restored faster than ever before.

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