Here at Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative, we are committed to keeping your lights on and are constantly working to improve our storm-time power restoration process.
Despite this pledge, due to circumstances beyond our control sometimes your power will still go out. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as:
Power can be affected by weather events like extreme temperatures (either heat or cold), ice buildup on power lines, lightning strikes, or high winds and heavy rain from storms. In severe cases, older power lines can be completely broken by strong winds during major storms!
Small animals, typically squirrels or birds, can short circuit pole-mounted electrical equipment like transformers or fuses.
Falling trees or tree limbs coming in contact with power lines can affect the flow of power to homes. During storms, these are the leading causes of outages. This is why Sussex Rural Electric strongly advocates against planting trees too close to power lines and invests heavily in trimming tree limbs in our service area.
Accidents involving road vehicles or farm and construction equipment can damage poles, sometimes even breaking them.
Our outage viewer will show you active outages in our service territory and if you, a family member, or friend has lost their power, you can use this to keep track of how restoration of power is going.
Types of Outages
There are two different types of power outages: momentary outages and sustained outages. These affect our members, and influence our response, in different ways.
A momentary outage, also known as a "power blink," is when your lights blink or you lose power for just a few moments. If you are out and come home to a blinking digital clock set at "12:00," your home most likely experienced a power blink while you were away. These outages happen when automatic devices on the co-op's power lines detect a problem, like a small animal on the lines, and temporarily shut off power to protect the power lines and the flow of electricity from real potential damage. This works much like resetting a circuit breaker does in your home, as a way to protect your home's wiring when an electrical overload or short occurs. This type of outage is inconvenient, but this is a way of preventing larger outages and power is restored by these devices within moments.
A sustained outage is a total loss of power in a localized portion of the service area. These are the longer outages that everyone dreads. Occasionally, these outages are planned by your-co-op to allow us to safely perform equipment repairs and maintenance. Members affected by planned outages will be notified ahead of time. But if you experience a sustained outage without notice, it's likely the result of storms, vehicular accidents, or downed trees affecting power lines. In cases like these, please follow the steps laid out below to verify and report the power outage. Sussex Rural Electric will address the problem as quickly as possible.
Reporting an Outage
If you need to report an outage, please contact us at 1(877) 504-6463. Calling this number gets the information to us and our viewer faster.
You can also text an outage. To do so, you first need to have your cell phone number in our database. The instructions will give you all the details. If you have already given us your current cell phone you can start the setup procedure right here.