Restoring Power

How do we restore your power?

When a major storm or event hits, we work as quickly as safety allows to get your power back on.


PGE's seven steps to power restoration

  1. Protect public safety.
    Crews clear live power lines and repair equipment that poses a public safety hazard. To stay on the safe side, PGE responds to all downed line inquiries even if they may be telephone wires or television cables. In addition, PGE also prioritizes public health and safety facilities such as hospitals, clinics and utilities (water, sewer, natural gas and telephone).
  2. Restoration begins; generation facilities checked.
    To begin restoring power, first we check the power source, typically a generating plant that may meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of customers. If these facilities are damaged or knocked out, repairing them is critical to restoring the system.
  3. Repair transmission lines.
    Transmission lines are the superhighways of our system, moving electricity from generating plants to the substations that further distribute power. Because transmission lines serve thousands, or hundreds of thousands of customers, they are also one of PGE’s highest priorities, and crews begin working on these lines immediately.
  4. Repair substations.
    Substations are the next critical link in the chain. They receive power from high-voltage transmission lines and reduce the voltage for residential and business consumption. Substations act as a distribution and switching system.
  5. Repair feeder lines.
    Feeder lines are like arterial streets, running from a substation to neighborhood networks, typically serving 1,000 to 3,000 customers. These usually are the lines affected when you hear news reports about an outage.
  6. Repair tap lines.
    Tap lines move power from the feeder lines down individual streets. Generally, there are 20-30 homes served by one tap line, with fewer homes in isolated or rural areas. PGE crews will be sent to assess tap lines. If they have all the supplies they need to repair the line, they will begin their work. If they need additional equipment or crew members, the crew will leave to gather those supplies but return to fix the tap line.
  7. Connect individual customers.
    This is the most difficult and time-consuming step. Individual PGE crews must visit individual homeowner’s property in order to repair lines to a single dwelling. Homes likely to be restored last are in isolated areas where buildings are far apart or places where downed trees obstruct crews from working. During this final and important step, crews also repair equipment and poles that serve a single house.

Learn more about how we deliver electricity.