Our restoration process
We follow a restoration plan with priorities to help the community return to normal as fast as possible. The video above illustrates how our crews work until power is restored to all customers.
Prepare your home for power restoration
You should make sure your home is ready to safely receive electricity once power has been restored. Make sure there are no flammable items on the stove, no irons left on or other potentially dangerous situations. Turn off as many appliances as possible that require electricity and turn them on one by one after power is restored. This causes less stress to the power system and ensures that all customers get restored without unnecessary delays. You may want to leave your front porch light on so you will know when power is restored. When in doubt, or when leaving the home for an extended period, you should switch off your power at the main breaker.
About power outages
Providing reliable service is one of our top priorities. However, natural occurrences like trees and animals coming into contact with electrical equipment cause more than half the outages that occur. View our reliability tip sheet to learn more. Did you know there are two main types of outages - a power outage and a momentary interruption?
A power outage lasting one minute or longer is usually caused by a problem in the electric distribution system between the power plant and your home or business. When a power outage occurs, Tampa Electric will respond to the outage and make any repairs necessary to restore power. If you notice damage to your meter or related equipment, view this illustration to determine who is responsible for repairs.
A momentary interruption typically lasts less than a second and is commonly caused by a short circuit that results when something comes in contact with power lines: animals, trees or other power lines. If this happens, a breaker automatically de-energizes the circuit and causes a momentary interruption to your service until the problem is cleared.
It's important to understand that a momentary interruption lasting less than one second is the result of a safety device that is designed to automatically open the circuit to prevent damage that can lead to an extended outage. During Florida's hurricane season, outages may increase due to high winds and lightning. To keep outages to a minimum, Tampa Electric inspects and clears away trees and limbs from power lines. In addition, Tampa Electric works with environmental experts to protect birds and other animals by researching new ways to prevent them from coming into contact with power lines.
All communities we serve are equal to us. During a widespread power outage, our goal is to restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time. Severe weather can bring with it a lot of unpredictable factors, and we focus on safety – for our team members and you – above all else. Before our crews can go outside to begin repair work, we must make sure conditions are safe and that winds are below 40 mph.
When large areas lose power, especially if severe weather is ongoing, we take a priority restoration approach to restoring service. Here's how it works:
- Electric service is restored to critical services facilities first – hospitals, disaster centers and main police and fire stations. This enables these places to help with other storm-related problems or injuries.
- Water and sewer installations are next.
- After that, we focus on communication service providers and facilities providing important public services such as supermarkets, home improvement/building supply centers, insurance facilities, etc.
- Then we repair electrical circuits that provide power to the largest group of customers, followed by the remainder of the circuits until the power is back on for all our customers.
It's possible that your neighbors' power may come back on while yours is still out. Because of the widespread damage a storm can cause, crews might need to make repairs at multiple spots along a single electric service line. As repairs are completed, some customers may receive power while others may still be out of service. Sometimes, different customers have different service lines, even within the same neighborhood. If you are on the same service line as your neighbor, you may also have damage to your meter that is interrupting electric service to your home. This electric service diagram shows you what meter-related damage the customer is responsible for repairing and what Tampa Electric is responsible for fixing.
If you experience an electrical outage or you are disconnected for any reason, please turn off all electric appliances. Remove any flammable materials from stove-top heating elements and other appliances that may activate or produce heat once electric service is reconnected. If you have questions, please visit tecoaccount.com or contact Customer Care toll-free at 888-223-0800 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Our restoration process
Why does my power go out?
Did you know that most outages are caused by natural occurrences? View our reliability tip sheet to learn more.
Safety comes first
As we make safety our top priority, we ask that you do the same. Please follow these critical electrical safety guidelines.
We balance our commitment to reliable service with the health of the trees we must trim near power lines. We're proud to have received recognition as a Tree Line USA utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation™, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters.