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Saint John Energy

Outage FAQ

If an outage occurs within your home or building only, try the following three steps to restore power:

  1. Check your fuse box or circuit breaker.
  2. If fuses have blown or circuits have tripped off, turn off or unplug the appliances or equipment on that circuit and replace the fuses or reset the breaker.
  3. If these steps do not restore power, call us at (506) 658-5252 and press 1 for assistance.

If an outage has occurred throughout your neighbourhood, and you have already reported that outage to us, here are a few general tips to follow to conserve energy and ensure your safety.

In Your Home:

  • Keep a flashlight and battery-operated radio handy.
  • Keep the refrigerator or freezer doors closed; food will keep for some time if the doors are kept closed.
  • While the power is out, turn down your electric heat and turn off major appliances, such as stoves, washers and dryers. It is easier to restore power when the system is not overloaded.
  • Leave one light switched on so you will know when power has been restored.
  • If you leave your home or business during an interruption, leave a light on that can be seen from the street. Our crews sometimes patrol areas to ensure all customers have their electricity restored.
  • When your power is restored, use only what is needed for the first few hours to avoid overloading the system, which can cause further outages.
  • If you plan to be away from home and want to ensure an unexpected power interruption hasn’t spoiled the food in your freezer, place a bag of ice cubes inside the freezer before you go away. If the ice cubes have melted and refrozen, your food probably has as well – in that case, you will want to discard the affected food.
  • Use a surge suppressor device, rather than a power bar, to protect sensitive equipment from damage due to brief interruptions in electrical service. Some power bars may have a circuit breaker, but they do not normally suppress electrical surges. Choose a surge suppressor that provides protection for each of the three wires: Line to Ground, Line to Neutral and Neutral to Ground. Surge suppressors let through certain voltages and are rated accordingly.

In Your Vehicle:

  • If a power line falls across your vehicle, stay inside until Saint John Energy removes the line. Stepping out of your vehicle onto the ground could be fatal if the fallen line is live.
  • If you must exit your vehicle, jump clear without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time. After jumping, move away without your feet leaving the ground: keep your feet together and shuffle at least 10 meters away from the downed lines.

 

Key Links

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit:

The Canadian Red Cross
Saint John Emergency Management Organization
Emergency Outage Preparedness Guide

Outage FAQs

Saint John Energy is ahead of the national average in reliability due to our proactive approach in maintaining our infrastructure. This maintenance translates to fewer power outages lasting shorter periods of time, compared to other Canadian Utilities.  However, unplanned interruptions do occur and when they do, we want you to be as informed as possible.  See System Interruptions for more information.

How long will my power be off?

Once the cause of the unplanned interruption has been determined an estimated restoration time will be provided.  For more information see System Interruptions.

What causes an unplanned power outage?

There could be numerous causes for an unplanned outage, ranging from weather activity (e.g. lightning, wind, snow and ice), an equipment malfunction, human error (e.g. underground digging, overhead lines torn down, traffic accidents, vandalism), to fires or animal contact.

How does Saint John Energy know my power is out?

Saint John Energy’s Distribution Control Center monitors our  system at the substation level.  If the reason for the outage causes a feeder breaker to trip at a substation, we immediately know customers are without service as well as their location; however, the reason for the outage cannot be determined until crews have patrolled the area or the cause of the outage is reported by Public Communications & Safety or the general public.  If the outage is  smaller, for example several homes on one street, then we rely on customers calling in to report their power outage. To ensure the outage in your area has been reported call 658-5252. To view information about an outage see System Interruptions.

How does Saint John Energy respond to an outage report?

When a customer reports an outage to us, the information supplied by the caller is logged and passed onto our Distribution Control Centre. If the outage is contained to a small number of customers, then a crew is immediately sent to the area affected. However, during a major outage, supervisory employees are sent to investigate the outage cause. After the assessment has been completed, an estimated time of repair will be made and restoration of service will begin.

How is power restoration prioritized?

We prioritize power restoration based first and foremost on the safety of our customers. If a situation is life-threatening (e.g. a broken power pole or downed line is reported), then we would respond to that situation first. Our next priority would be any hospitals and nursing homes affected by an outage, followed by areas that would restore power to the largest number of customers.

Why has my neighbour’s power been restored before my home?

Different sides of the same street can be fed from different parts of our distribution system. If you’ve reported an outage to us and we have confirmed that your power should be on, you should check the fuses or breakers in your home to see if they may have tripped. If the outage cause is not apparent within your home, then you could have another electrical issue that will need to be addressed by a qualified electrician.

Power Outages

Remember to change or clean your AC’s air filters at least once a month to get the most from your system.