Does Alabama Power turn off the power before a storm?
No. When a major storm strikes, Alabama Power’s computerized system keeps up with the lines and substations that go out of service. This is valuable knowledge because the company knows where to begin restoration once the storm has passed. If power were turned off, Alabama Power would have no idea where the major damage was and restoration would be slowed. Also, turning off all the power ahead of a storm creates a huge safety problem after the storm passes. Once the computerized system lets the operator know which lines are out, the operator will not turn that line back on until repairs are made.
Should I stop the crews in the bucket trucks to let them know my power is out?
No. While Alabama Power line crews are happy to assist customers where possible, stopping them to ask questions or make special requests only slows restoration. If power has been restored to your entire neighborhood, but you are without power, check your meter box for damage, or call Alabama Power’s customer service at 1-800-888-2726.
Why are crews leaving my neighborhood when power is still out?
Be assured Alabama Power crews are not leaving because it’s “the end of the work day.” Crews could be leaving for a variety of reasons: they need to pick up more supplies to continue restoration; conditions have become unsafe; or the problem needs additional work.
Should I call Alabama Power every day that my power’s out to make sure the company knows I don’t have electricity?
Following a severe storm with widespread power interruptions, customers should wait a reasonable amount of time before calling to report an outage. There’s no need to call within the first 24 to 48 hours. The company knows where the power is out because its automated system alerts a technician when a line goes off. As the restoration progresses, Alabama Power will announce through the media if residents in specific areas should call in if they’re still without power.
If my home has structural damage, can’t Alabama Power go ahead and turn power back on before repairs are made?
No. Each county has guidelines that the company must follow in connecting service. The first consideration – for both the county and Alabama Power – is protecting the homeowner’s safety. As a general rule, a licensed contractor must make repairs and an inspection permit issued by the county before Alabama Power can restore electricity to a damaged structure.
Will my account with Alabama Power be credited for the time I was without power?
Alabama Power customers are only charged for electricity they use; it’s not like cable television service, where you pay a flat, monthly fee whether you watch the cable channels or not. Therefore, if your power is out, you will not be charged for it.
Why can’t all power lines go underground to keep power from going out?
Putting power lines underground is not Alabama Power’s decision. We put lines underground at the customer’s request. Because it is much more costly — up to 10 times more expensive — to put lines underground, the customers who want it have to pay extra for the installation. It’s just like call waiting or call forwarding on your telephone — those are services that you pay extra for above the basic phone charge. The state of Alabama requires Alabama Power to do likewise if a customer wants underground lines.
Going underground is reliable, but it won’t stop all outages. All underground lines have to come out of the ground somewhere. If you have an outage on an underground system it takes much longer to locate it (you can’t see it) and repair it (you have to dig up streets and yards).