How Power is Restored

After a major outage, Springfield Utility Board (SUB) follows a systematic, industry-standard process to restore power to the greatest number of people as quickly as possible. This includes rerouting power along undamaged circuits while simultaneously making repairs.

Emergency & Essential Services

Efforts to restore power to agencies that protect the health and safety of the public are a priority. These include hospitals, police departments, fire departments, drinking water and waste water treatment facilities and pumping stations.


High-Voltage Transmission Lines

Transmission lines carry high voltage electricity from generation sources to SUB’s substations. If there is a problem with a transmission line, it must be addressed before other repairs can be made.



Substations reduce the high-voltage electricity from the transmission lines so it can be safely carried on distribution lines. If there is an issue at a substation, it must be addressed before re-energizing distribution lines.


Distribution Lines

These power lines, sometimes called primary lines or feeders, carry power from the substation to various areas of the city for further distribution. Repairing damage to these components is the next necessary step in the power restoration process.


Tap Lines

Tap lines carry power from distribution lines to smaller groups of homes. If an entire portion of your neighborhood is without power, the tap line is a likely source of the problem.


Secondary Lines

These power lines, also called service drops, take power from the tap line, via a transformer, to customer-owned equipment at individual homes and businesses. Also called “individual services,” these repairs represent the most time consuming part of the restoration process, and can only be completed if customer-owned equipment is in working order.

Download the Power Restoration Infographic (PDF)

Note: Transmission, distribution, and tap lines are uninsulated high voltage lines that are particularly hazardous in downed line situations! Never touch a power line, and stay away from all downed lines. It’s impossible to tell by looking if a downed line is energized.

Customer & Sub-Owned Equipment

As shown above, once power leaves the substation, it flows along distribution lines to tap lines that serve neighborhoods. A secondary line then takes power from the tap line to customer-owned equipment installed at individual homes. Storms can damage customer-owned equipment and SUB won’t be able to restore power to the home until it is repaired. This illustration shows which equipment is owned by SUB and which is owned and maintained bythe customer.

Troubleshooting: My Neighbors Have Power But I Don’t

If power has been restored all around you, but you are still without power, contact SUB. We’ll help troubleshoot the issue, but here are the probable causes: