Electricity outages in cold weather restored differently

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 77 views 

With the cold weather, electricity outages can last longer than usual because power is restored differently in colder weather, than when it’s warmer.

Cold weather alone can lead to outages, according to utility company Entergy Arkansas. So far this year, outages have been spotty, with 20 or 30 and up to a few hundred at once before electricity is restored.

“Temperatures of 25 degree or less result in an abnormally high demand for electric power,” said Melanie Taylor, vice president of customer service for Entergy Arkansas. “In areas where we have large numbers of all-electric homes, the demand on really cold days is even higher than on the hottest days of summer. The extra stress on the system can cause isolated overloads of our power-distribution system.”

During electricity outages in the winter, customers often leave on their heating systems and appliances, which creates a high energy demand when power is restored.

“We have devices in place designed to protect our system during times of normal, day-to-day operations,” Taylor said. “During weather extremes, we follow a methodical and calculated process to bring customers back online after an outage that differs from our normal restoration. Rather than simply energizing an entire power line at once, we must bring customers back online one section at a time to avoid damage to our system and make the situation worse. Following this process takes more time to restore power to affected customers than if we were able to restore the entire line at once.”

Entergy Arkansas customers can call 1-800-968-8243 to report an outage.