The Power's Out!
At Alaska Power & Telephone (AP&T), we are committed to delivering safe, reliable energy to our customers. At times, there are situations beyond our control such as storms, construction accidents, equipment failure, and wildlife that may cause damage to power distribution lines.
As one would expect, the winter season elevates the possibility these types of events may occur. While AP&T is committed to restoring power as quickly as possible, being prepared for power interruptions will help safeguard you and our crews working to restore power safely to homes and businesses.
Customers are encouraged to take the following steps in the event of an electrical power outage:
- Check to see if your neighbors are also without power.
- If your neighbors are also without power, contact your local AP&T office.
- If your neighbors are not without power, you may need to reset your home or business circuit breakers.
- Please remember, we do not constantly monitor social media pages, so unless you call your local office, crews will not know you are having troubles.
You can take actions in your home that will help us restore power as quickly as possible. When an electric outage occurs, a heavy burden is placed on the system at the moment power is restored. This high demand can cause an overload on the system, and you could lose power once again. To prevent this, turn everything off in your home except a few lights. In addition, make sure the surface elements on your range have been turned off and that other heat‐producing appliances are off as well because if left on, they can pose a serious fire hazard after the power has been restored.
Sometimes the only way you know you’ve had an interruption in power is a blinking digital display or flickering lights. At other times your TV or computer screen may shrink for a moment or simply go dark. Each of these power disturbances are caused by different events. They are referred to in the industry as “flickers”, “sags” and “surges”. However, you can take steps to minimize their effect on your home or business. Devices such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and surge protectors can help maintain the flow of electricity and prevent possible damage to your appliances and electronic equipment. Surge protectors act like electrical sponges, absorbing excess energy and preventing most of the power surges from reaching your electronic devices.
Power outages and electrical disturbances can also be caused by problems within your home, such as:
- Circuit overloads
- Electrical short circuits
- Home wiring damage
- Inadequate grounding
If you suspect you have electrical problems at your home, contact a qualified electrical contractor or electrician.
What if I Suffered Equipment Damage?
AP&T operates under the oversight and regulation of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). The rules and regulations under which AP&T operates are referred to as our operating tariff, which is on file with the RCA. This tariff may also be found on our website at www.APTalaska.com under the “Customer Service” tab – then by choosing “Regulatory”.
AP&T’s responsibility for damages ends, where the customer’s responsibility for protection begins. Section 6.12 of our operating tariff (Sheet 51) states it is the customer’s responsibility to have and maintain the proper protective equipment in place to safeguard personal property within a residence or business being served by AP&T. This means, that to be fully protected you should have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply with Surge Protection) for your critical items that is checked yearly. These do have a limited life and will need to be replaced as they deteriorate. It is also the customer’s responsibility to have a proper ground in place for your home or business as the UPS will not work properly without a proper route to ground. If you have any questions about the grounding at your meter service, AP&T will come look at it and make recommendations at no cost. If changes to the grounding are required, a licensed electrician will need to do the work. AP&T is not liable if your premise is not properly grounded or lacks proper protection on your personal or business equipment.
Section 11.3 of our tariff located at Sheets 98 and 99 states For Consequential Damages: The company will not be liable for any injury, loss, causality or damage resulting in any way from the supply or use of electricity or from the presence or operation of the Company’s structures, wires, conduit, appliances or devices on the customer’s premises except injuries or damages resulting from the negligence of the company.
If you feel you qualify for compensation for damaged equipment, you will need to contact your local office and request a Liability/ Incident Assessment Form. A letter detailing the date, time and specific damage incurred including: make, model and age of damaged equipment, should accompany the completed form. We will advise you to refer to your homeowner’s insurance policy and/or contact your insurance broker to determine if you have coverage for such damage. We will ask about surge protective devices, UPS, etc. installed in your home. After your claim is received, AP&T will arrange to meet with your Electrician to inspect for code compliance and adequate grounding at your location. Code requires the customer have 25 ohms or less of resistance to ground. Lack of adequate surge protection, grounding or a service not up to code will void the claim if determined that such protection would have prevented damage.
Alaska Power & Telephone Company understands that any power outage is an inconvenience. We continually invest in strengthening our infrastructure, and use smart technology to aid in preventing outages. Despite our best efforts, no utility can ever be completely interruption‐proof. Many forces can cause an outage, a flicker or changes in voltage. If you experience an outage or recurring power problems, call AP&T and we will investigate to get your power problems resolved.