Why and how we plan outages
Why we plan power outages
We must perform work on the electrical system to maintain its safe and efficient operation. To ensure the safety of work crews and the public, some of this work can only be done with the power lines de-energized, which usually means an outage for some customers.
We plan outages to perform work that either can’t be done at all or can’t be done safely when the equipment is energized.
By planning the outage and doing the necessary work, our crews can prevent a potential unplanned emergency outage in the future, where a part of the system unexpectedly fails or malfunctions.
How we choose outage dates and times
We consider various factors when finalizing a date:
- Safety: public and worker safety is always our primary concern. We need to make sure the work is done in the safest environment possible.
- Weather: some work can’t be done when it is raining, other work can be done under all weather conditions. This is why outages can be sometimes cancelled at the last minute.
- Schools: if an outage may affect a school, work to ensure that it falls on a day when school is not in session.
- Community events: if there is a community event or celebration scheduled, we'll try to find another day.
- Traffic management: some work may cause disruptions to traffic. We need to work with municipal officials to ensure our work fits into their traffic management plans.
- Availability of experts: some of the work we must do is very specialized and can only be performed by crews with unique skills and equipment. If this is the case, we must schedule work around their availability.