CTEC is dedicated to providing the most reliable power supply possible. If, however, your electric power goes off, first please check your fuses or circuit breakers to determine that the trouble is not in your own system. If the outage is the responsibility of the CTEC, there will, of course, be no charge. If the co-op responds to a call and it is determined that the outage is on the member's side of the meter, such as a blown fuse or tripped breaker, etc., you will be billed for a trip fee.
Generation of electricity is the first step in the process to deliver electricity to your home. The source of electricity can be generated by a conventional natural gas generator plant, nuclear plant, coal plant, or even from renewable energy such as solar or wind. Due to the large amounts of electricity, that must flow out from the generator source, transmission lines or large conductors are needed to support the high voltage. These are large power lines that are high off the ground. Transmission lines then transport the electricity to a substation. Inside the substation transformers step down the amount of voltage which is then carried on the distribution lines to electric consumers.
A flicker or blink is usually caused by a temporary fault on the distribution line. CTEC installs specialized equipment on distribution lines that causes the line to blink to avoid a long-term outage or damage. Typical examples of this are when a tree makes contact with a line temporarily, lightning strikes a pole, or an animal makes contact with energized lines. The special equipment will sense the fault, temporarily de-energize the line so that the fault condition can clear, and then re-energize the line to see if the fault has cleared. When this happens, the consumer experiences a blink.
An outage occurs when the consumer loses all flow of electricity from the grid. While CTEC takes many steps to help prevent outages, sometimes an outage is inevitable. Outages can be caused by a number of issues and situations. Equipment failures or transmission issues can cause outages. Animals, vegetation, high winds, lightning and auto accidents and lead to downed equipment, poles or lines which can also interrupt power. Some outages can also be caused to prevent additional damage or for the safety of our employees.
It is possible for your neighbor to have electricity while you are out of power. This can be explained if you are on a different distribution line compared to your neighbor or if a transformer has an outage, you both may not be on the same transformer. This is why it is always best to report outages and not assume CTEC is aware of your outage.
The cost and manpower to provide electricity without interruption and/or to provide back-up power for every member is not realistic for any utility provider.