What happens during a power outage?

Monsoon season is a busy time for our line crews. The majority of our outages are due to Mother Nature – monsoon storms, wind and animals – things that are out of our control. Trico actively monitors and maintains the system to try to limit outages.

Business Hours vs. Non-Business Hours

The diagram at right shows our standard outage response process. There is a difference in response time between business hours and after business hours. After hours and on weekends, it takes crews longer to travel to the affected area because they are usually at home when an outage occurs. During business hours, crews are dispersed throughout our service area and can respond quicker, although Trico has a vast service area and sometimes it takes time to travel to areas. Also, during many monsoon-caused outages, road closures and running washes impede travel.

Communicating during an outage

Before crews even arrive on scene and assess the problem, many times Members are already looking for information. A Dispatcher or Member Services Representative can state crews are headed to the scene but won’t have much information until crews are on scene and have assessed damages.

Line crews will try to reroute power to restore power as soon as possible. However, sometimes power can’t be restored until the damage is fixed. If an excavation of any type – whether replacing a pole or repairing underground lines – is needed as part of the restoration process, Trico has to first call Arizona 811 to identify other utility lines. Other utilities have to mark their lines before Trico can dig.

The Outage Map can provide information about outages. Members can use the Outage Map rather than wait in a telephone queue to speak to Trico about their power outage. The map, which is compatible with smartphones and tablets, has a link to SmartHub so Members can report an outage. Members can also use the SmartHub app to check their service status and report an outage. Members can stay informed by signing up for outage notifications. They will receive a text or email when power is out and restored.

Restoring power

When everyone wants full power all at once, Trico may have to restore service gradually to avoid equipment overloads. Here are steps you can take to allow Trico to bring back everyone’s service faster and help prevent your outage from recurring:

  • During long outages, unplug or turn off major appliances and lights.
  • Leave one light on so you know when the power is back on.
  • Keep refrigerators closed so food stays cold longer.
  • After power is restored, turn on lights and appliances gradually, not all at once.