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.
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 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.
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.
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:
You and your neighbor are on different tap lines. Tap lines serve groups of homes, and a neighborhood can have more than one. Learn more about the power restoration process above.
There may be damage to the secondary line supplying electricity to your individual home. Repairing individual service drops to your home is the most time-consuming part of the restoration process and may require customer-owned equipment to be repaired before power can be restored.
Your home’s equipment may be damaged, especially after a major storm. Before SUB can energize the service drop that brings electricity to your home, your home’s weatherhead, service mast, and meter base must all be in good working order. If they’ve been damaged, an electrician will need to make repairs. The illustration above can help you locate the equipment so you can see if it appears damaged.
Your breakers tripped when the power came back on. Check your circuit breaker panel and make sure all the breakers are turned on. Tripped breakers often look like they are still in the ON position. To reset a tripped breaker, flip the breaker to the OFF position then to the ON position. Remember that main breakers can be located in the electrical panel or near the meter outside the building. Check all locations. If a breaker keeps flipping, call an electrician.