If you buy a generator, you may need a town permit or official inspection for it. Also, make sure a licensed electrician installs it. The generator must be connected to your home's wiring through a special transfer switch to be sure electricity produced by the generator does not back-feed into our electric lines, which endangers the lives of workers making repairs. Moreover, proper installation will prevent a house fire.
Exhaust from a portable generator contains carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces, such as garages, basements or porches. Always run the generator outdoors as far from the house as possible, and away from doors, windows and air-intake vents.
Treat all wires — even those that are hanging or downed — as if they are "live" (energized). Don’t assume they are "dead" (de-energized). Customers can report any downed or hanging wires to the power company or their police or fire departments.
Upon receiving a report from a customer or a fire or police department about downed burning or live wires, we dispatch an employee to stand by the scene, warning others away until we have an opportunity to dispatch a crew to the scene to disconnect or isolate the wire from its electrical source. Customers should be advised to stay clear of all downed and hanging wires and not assume that they are de-energized.
In many storms, CL&P uses a patrol effort in strategic areas to plan a restoration process. These patrols also look for downed wires.
Power outage numbers may increase during the storm restoration period in some areas for several reasons:
As the power company patrols lines, it may discover outages that weren’t reported earlier.
As more calls come into the power company customer service representatives, the outage reporting system gives more refined numbers.
Branches that may have broken during the storm may come loose and fall onto lines causing additional outages.
Depending on time of day, etc., customers may be at work or away from their homes and unaware of power outages to report, until they discover them upon return to their homes later in the storm restoration period.
Power outage numbers may decrease suddenly if large circuits that had been taken out of service by a storm are brought back into service.
No. CL&P will repair all equipment leading to your home, including a service wire, connectors and the meter. Homeowners are responsible for repairing equipment attached to a residence, including a clevis (house knob), weatherheads, conduits, conductors and the meter box. Homeowners are not responsible for damage to the meter.
Homeowners should be aware that any damage to customer-owned equipment must be repaired by licensed, professional electricians before we can reconnect power lines to your home. If your home has sustained storm damage to customer-owned equipment, licensed electricians can be found through your local Yellow Pages or the State Department of Consumer Protection, Licensing Division, at www.ct.gov/dcp/site.
The attached diagram depicts who owns what.
When a storm or natural disaster strikes and your power is disrupted, we go to work to get your power back on as quickly and safely as possible. Repairs are made at the outage point, which could be a substation, a power line, a pole, or even a connection to your house.
During severe weather conditions, there could be several breaks or outages between the substation and your house, which means that repairs must be completed sequentially, beginning at the substation and ending at your house.
Our first priority is your safety and the safety of our employees. We identify dangerous areas, de-energize downed wires and work with the affected towns to clear blocked roads. Once roads are cleared and areas are made safe, priority customers get their power back first. This includes police and fire, hospitals, water and sewage treatment facilities and nursing homes. From there, our goal is to restore power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.
Restoration speed depends on the extent and nature of the storm’s damage. We typically begin the work closest to our substations, then move to main feeders and continue out to primary lines and secondary wires along the affected circuits. In some cases, our crews may have to go street by street and even house by house to restore the power.
Watch a simple animation that describes the process CL&P follows to restore power when a storm or other threat disrupts power to our customers.