Delivering safe, reliable power is our highest priority
While we work hard to provide high quality, reliable electric service to our members, we cannot guarantee uninterrupted power. When an outage does occur, we focus on restoring service interruptions as quickly, efficiently and SAFELY as possible.
Snow storms, ice storms, and tornadoes — Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative members have experienced them all. This kind of severe weather can cause major power outages.
During any power outage, SVEC’s goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest possible time. The illustration below explains the process your cooperative follows in order to do this.
You can help by reporting power outages, avoiding downed power lines, make sure your contact information is up-to-date and preparing an emergency kit for your home.
What to do if your power is out...
If your power goes out, check your fuses and circuit breaker first. If a blown fuse or tripped breaker does not appear to be the cause of your outage, report the power outage by using the SVEC App, report through this website or call your local SVEC service center or 888-421-7832.
How Power is Restored
Step 1 - High voltage transmission lines
Transmission lines from the Tennessee Valley Authority, SVEC’s wholesale power provider, supply electricity to transmission substations. Tens of thousands of customers can be served by one high-voltage transmission line, so if there is damage here, it gets attention first.
Step 2 - Distribution Substation
Sequachee Valley Electric receives power from TVA at 5 transmission points serving 14 local distribution substations. Each of these substations serve thousands of member over hundreds of miles of distribution lines, so problems at substations are repaired next.
Step 3 - Main Distribution Lines
Restoration work on distribution lines feeding from SVEC’s substations are prioritized according to the number of members affected. Problems on feeder lines closest to the substation typically are corrected first because they may affect more members than problems occurring farther down the feeder or on branch lines and circuits.
Step 4 - Tap Lines
Repairs to final supply lines, called tap lines, are made next. Tap lines carry power to overhead or underground transformers outside houses or other buildings.
Step 5 - Individual Homes
Damage sometimes occurs on the service line between a house and the transformer on a nearby pole or directly to the transformer. This is often the reason you have no power when your neighbor does. Your co-op needs to know if you have an outage here so a service crew can repair it.
The Steps to Restoring Power
Who Owns What
Electric Co-op Owned Equipment vs. Member Owned Equipment
This graphic depicts equipment owned by the cooperative (in gold) and the member (in blue). If a storm damages any equipment owned by the cooperative, we are responsible for repairs. If a storm damages any member-owned equipment, the member is responsible for repairs. Members should hire a licensed electrician when making repairs to any member-owned equipment.
Should SVEC experience a widespread or devastating outage the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association will coordinate assistance from other co-ops. SVEC crews also answer the call for help when other electric utilities need our help.
More power outage tips...
- Wait a few minutes to see if the electricity comes back. Many power outages last only a few minutes. If the power cannot be restored by tripping a breaker or replacing a blown fuse, call your local SVEC office or 888-421-7832.
- SVEC will ask for your name, address and telephone number; whether your neighbor’s lights are out; if you see electric lines down; and if you heard a loud noise just before the outage.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Refrigerated food remains good for only 4 to 6 hours. If the temperature in your refrigerator rises above 40 degrees, the food may spoil. The optimum time for frozen food is 72 hours. As long as the food in the freezers still has ice crystals on it, it is safe. If food thawed but is still cold, it can safely be cooked and frozen again.
- Be careful with emergency cooking and heating equipment such as camp stoves and fireplaces. Do not use charcoal grills inside your home; charcoal fumes are poisonous in an unventilated area.
- While the power is off, turn off your major electrical appliances such as water heaters and heating systems. After the power comes back on, wait 15 minutes and then turn on the appliances one at a time. This will help avoid more outages caused by overloads.
- If you have a heat pump and the outage lasts for three hours or more, to not immediately reset it to the on position once power is restored. Instead, wait a few minutes and place the system switch in the “emergency heat” position. This will quickly bring your home to normal temperature. Leave the switch in the “emergency heat” position for at least three hours. Then set the thermostat in the heat pump mode.
- As crews work to restore power, they try to give priority to critical loads. If you or a family member depend on life support, you will need to have an emergency plan in place in the event of an extended outage.