Residential Power Quality FAQs


1. Why do lights flicker? Is this OK?

Lights flicker when there is a sudden change in the power level. It can happen during a strong storm or when a large load such as an air conditioner, elevator or a local portable heater kicks on. If that is the case, it is advisable to contact a licensed electrician to check the circuits and rewire if necessary.


2. If my lights went off and then came back on a few seconds or a minute later, do I have a problem that needs to be fixed?

A lot of disturbances in the electric system are temporary by nature (such as lightning). CPS Energy has electric relays that automatically detect these outages and then restore power automatically.


3. My lights have been off for a long time. Why has service not been restored?

The only way that CPS Energy can know if your lights are off is if you call and report it. Sometimes there can be multiple outages on the same circuit due to multiple problems. Some people assume that since a neighbor has called in that they do not need to call in. CPS Energy could end up fixing service to other residences and not know that you have an outage also due to a different problem. It is important that you call in and let us know you are out.


4. What are the most common causes of outages?

Outages are most often caused by trees (especially during storms, high winds and ice storms), cars hitting utility poles, wildlife touching high voltage wires, or problems with utility equipment. Keep flash lights handy and have a phone that does not require utility power (a cell phone or hard-wired type) so you can keep in communication during power outages.


5. My lights have been off for more than five hours. Should I call back?

CPS Energy tries to restore service as quickly as possible. Sometimes during major storms our resources are stretched to their limits. We restore problems affecting a large number of customers first. It is a good idea to call back after four hours if your service is still off.


6. Why does my smoke detector alarm chirp when the power goes off and comes back on?

Some smoke alarms are powered by AC (alternating current) and use a battery backup. When these units lose power momentarily they may chirp several times to inform you they are on backup power or are returning to main power. For more information, contact the manufacturer’s documentation on your type of alarm.