Power Restoration Process
What to Expect Once the Weather Has Cleared
Once severe weather passes, it's time to assess damage and make repairs. Questions about cleanup? We've got answers.
Prioritizing Power Restoration: Our Four-Step Process
When we determine that it is safe to start service restoration, our crews work around-the-clock to restore your power. When storms cause major damage, we supplement our workforce with crews from other utilities and contract crews. You may see trucks from companies you don't recognize. Our goal? To restore power safely to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.
1. High-Voltage Transmission and Substations
Since transmission lines and substations supply power to neighborhoods, we repair them first.
2. Critical and Vital Public Services
Next, we restore power to critical public services including hospitals and nursing homes, police and fire facilities, jails, water pumping stations, communication organizations (TV, radio, and telephone), customers who depend on lifesaving equipment, and evacuation centers.
3. Greatest Number of Customers
Next, we prioritize repairs that restore power to a greater number of customers first. We'll make repairs that restore power to 1,000 customers before a repair that would return electricity to 100 customers.
4. Individual Homes and Businesses
We continue to work 24/7 to restore power to smaller neighborhoods and individual homes or businesses until the power's back for everyone.
Large storms, like hurricanes, often impact the tri-state region and beyond, which increases the challenge of restoring power. Affected neighboring communities won't have the resources to spare, so we contract with other utility companies who may need to travel from great distances to help.
Other challenges that contribute to complex restoration include:
- Limited access to rear property poles
- Debris from trees, vegetation, and objects that must be cleared before power restoration can start
- Equipment that must be brought in manually
- De-energizing areas so crews can make repairs safely
- Building in breaks for crews working 16-hour shifts
When the Lights Come On... and Go Off Again
Our electric distribution system is complex. Sometimes, after a major storm, crews make temporary repairs to restore your power. When crews return to make the permanent repairs, they may need to turn off the power again to ensure their own safety. Those outages are temporary, and we'll reestablish power when repairs are completed and it's safe to do so.
Who's Responsible for What?
When your home, property, or equipment sustains electrical damage from a storm, who repairs or replaces it? When our crews must cut through brush and debris on your property to access and repair wires, who takes care of the clean-up?
- Electric service equipment: What’s Company Owned? What’s Customer Owned? Find out here
- Tree/debris removal: If we must cut away trees/brush to restore power to your home, removing the tree and/or debris is your responsibility.
- Power surge damage: If you believe we're responsible for damage to your personal equipment, you can submit a claim to PSEG Long Island.
- Dead phone or cable: When severe weather knocks out your phone and/or cable service, you must call those companies to let them know.
Bill Adjustments During an Outage
We calculate your bill's charges based on the amount of electricity you use. If you haven't used electricity because the power is out, your bill will reflect that drop in usage.
Lessons Learned for Future Emergency Responses
We constantly strive to improve the resiliency of the electric system on Long Island and on the Rockaway Peninsula to anticipate, prevent, and withstand interruptions in electric service. We've created a resource of best practices and strategies to respond more effectively to disasters. Download our 2020 PSEG Long Island Emergency Restoration Plan