Unfortunately, power outages are a fact of life at every electric utility. Central Oregon will soon head into winter when storms will do their best to test Central Electric’s systems. Together with tree limbs falling into lines, vehicles taking down power poles, and wild animals chewing into underground lines or getting into our substations, these conditions ensure outages will always be an issue in our industry.
Because the size and length of outages can vary greatly due to cause, location, and timing, we place a premium on making sure you can remain informed. We know few things bother members more during such times as a lack of information. The best ways to learn what is going on are:
- Phone: Once you’ve checked your household circuit breakers and determined they haven’t tripped opened, call Central Electric at 541.548.2144 during business hours. At other times call 866.459.8651 when our calls and dispatching duties are handled by the Cooperative Response Center, a co-op providing outage assistance to utilities nationwide. During large outages you may have trouble getting through initially due to large call volumes. You can try again after waiting or we suggest you go online.
- Online: During large outages – defined as those affecting a large number of members for an extended period – we post in the Outage Info & Updates tab in the Outage Center at www.cec.coop/outage. Initially, only basic information may be available because crews are on their way to the location or they are still determining the cause. Once that information is known it will be posted along with an estimated restoration timeframe as soon as one is available. We also activate a high profile outage alert banner on the site during major events which gives the basic facts of the outage. The site’s Outage Map will show you where any outages have been identified, showing you if you’re in the affected area.
- Social Media: Central Electric also provides updates through its Facebook page and Twitter account and we encourage you to follow us. However, please do not use these applications to report an outage. Our phone system remains the fastest and most effective way to report outages.
We encourage members to call Central Electric because each time a member calls in to report an outage it is entered into our sophisticated outage management system. The OMS collects the data from these calls and populates our interactive mapping system. This helps quickly define the area affected by an outage and helps our crews pinpoint where to look first for the problem. Even in this technology-driven world, your calls remain important to triggering our response and getting your power back on as quickly as safely as possible.
President and CEO