Electric Companies warn of meter base shortage, delays in power restoration

Ward says you don’t always need meter bases to restore power, but in a lot of cases you do.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – We’ve seen before what an ice storm can do, dangerous roads, accidents, and power outages. But, according to Dixon Electric in Lexington, electrical supply issues across the state could cause even more issues…delaying the return of power.

“In 2003 we had thousands of people that were out of service, and back in 2003 those equipment were readily available, there wasn’t a great shortage. But, now through this COVID situation we have, the shortage is really creating a great problem because if you don’t have the material you can’t install” said Gary Ward.

Gary Ward, a field supervisor for Dixon Electric says there’s a shortage in meter bases. That’s the electrical device on the outside of your home, with a glass globe inside that tells you how much energy you are using every day.

Ward says you don’t always need meter bases to restore power, but in a lot of cases you do.

“To give you a heads up of what happens, ice forms on the wire, the wires get really heavy and they pull our services loose away from the houses.”

He says if the ice pulls the meter base out, with the shortage the state is seeing, restoration of power could take a couple of days, or more.

“Be prepared that if this ice storm comes like it did in 2003, we had a lot of ice that year, we had tree limbs down, subdivisions fully out and it was a trying time. A lot of work was going on, but not everybody could get it right away” said Ward.

Ward is advising that no one try to restore their power themselves…and to make arrangements to go elsewhere if electricity is a necessity.

Davis H. Elliot Company in Lexington also confirming a meter shortage, and that there is a current 20 week wait time on standard meter bases. But, although there is a supply issue…it says its prepared to help anyone affected.

“We are fortunate to have a small number available through our network of suppliers. Regardless of the meter base supply issue, Elliot’s team stands prepared to assist the members of the Central Kentucky community who will be affected by this weather event.”

Kentucky Utilities also providing a statement and some safety tips for the ice storm

“We appreciate the concerns being raised. Installing and maintaining meter bases is not a service provided by KU because this is equipment on the customer’s side of the electric meter. Licensed electricians install, stock and maintain this equipment for residential homes and businesses.

Our Service Connection Safety page on our website offers important information and steps customers should follow if they experience an issue that causes damage to their service connection.”

They say “In the event customers experience power outages as a result of the storm, it’s so important for customers to take steps ahead of time for their safety and to prepare at home. These are some important steps customers can take to prepare and stay safe:

    • Keep warm air in and cold air out – Ensure heating systems are operating efficiently. Seal leaks and gaps around the home with caulk, spray foam or weather-stripping. Make sure warm-air registers are not blocked by drapes or furniture. Check out additional cold weather energy saving tips on our website.
    • Build an emergency kit – Keep an emergency kit on hand that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlights for everyone in the family, fresh batteries for any devices, a first-aid kit, and over-the counter and prescription medications. Visit www.ready.gov for a complete list of essential emergency kit supplies.
    • Avoid and report fallen power lines – Strong wind, snow and ice accumulation on tree branches can sometimes cause them to break and fall into power lines. Consider all fallen lines dangerous. Stay away and contact the utilities to report a downed wire. KU customers should call 1-800-981-0600.
    • Stay informed – Download our mobile app before inclement weather strikes. Customers can use our mobile app, available from the Apple and Google stores, to access and keep track of near real-time outage information on the utilities’ online outage map. Customers can also use the app to report their outage and more. Customers can also sign up for outage texting to report an outage to 4LGEKU (454358) and to request status updates from their mobile device. “
Categories: Featured, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *