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Unplanned Outages

Unplanned power outages are caused by things such as high winds, snow and ice storms, salt spray, lightning, and other severe weather conditions. Outages can also be caused by equipment problems, vehicle accidents, fallen trees, and even animals contacting power lines.

If a power outage affects only one part of your home, it is probably due to a problem in your electricity panel, such as a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. If resetting the circuit breaker or replacing the fuse does not restore power, you may require an electrician to investigate.

At certain times throughout the year, customers may be at risk to outages caused by either a generation shortage or an unexpected generation interruption. Such occurrences may lead to rotating power outages or under-frequency load shedding.

Rotating Power Outages

To maintain service to customers, the amount of electrical supply available on the electrical system must be greater than the amount being used by our customers. When there is not enough electricity, we must reduce the amount being used by our customers or risk the entire electrical system failing. In these rare circumstances, Newfoundland Power must conduct rotating power outages to its customer.

To minimize the impact on customers, Newfoundland Power attempts to limit rotating power outages to 1 hour or less. Critical customers, who provide services that are essential to the health, safety and welfare of the communities we serve, are avoided in rotating power outages.

Under-Frequency Load Shedding

When a large source of electricity is suddenly lost on the system, the frequency of the electrical system drops. To ensure the entire electrical system does not fail, our system is programmed to quickly disconnect small groups of customers to restore the balance of supply and demand. This is called under-frequency load shedding. When this occurs, power is usually restored within minutes, but may take up to an hour.

Newfoundland Power’s system is designed to ensure these types of outages are spread among our customers so that the same customers are not impacted each time. Critical customers, who provide services that are essential to the health, safety and welfare of the communities we serve, are typically not included in under-frequency load shedding.