Edmonton's electricity service has a 99.9% reliability rating. That means the lights are on 99.9% of the time. And when power does fail, we have Trouble crews with a bucket truck and at least two other crew members standing by; one on the north side and one on the south side. When more help is needed, other crews can be called in.
In 2015, a typical Edmonton home averaged 1.03 power outages lasting about 54 minutes each, and that's better than 3/4 of the major urban centres across Canada.
EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (EDTI) – one of our business units – distributes power through about 5,000 circuit kilometres of primary distribution lines, serving about 333,000 residential and 36,000 commercial customers in Edmonton.
EDTI distributes power to Edmontonians through 284 'feeders' – primarily distribution circuits running from substations through the city's neighbourhoods. They're lower voltage than the main transmission lines that carry electricity from power generating plants to the substations.
The Bottom 10
EPCOR's Reliability Council consists of a committee of field personnel, engineers and managers that reviews all outages, looking for ways to reduce power failures. Each year, the 10 worst performing circuits are reviewed and action plans are developed and submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).
55,000 Wooden Poles
Each of Edmonton's roughly 55,000 wooden power poles is inspected every five years for rot and physical damage.
We regularly inspect all equipment and make repairs whenever possible before outages happen. As a member of the Canadian Electricity Association's Service Continuity Committee, we participate in monthly discussions with Canada's other utilities about how to improve reliability. The committee also standardizes the way utilities report outages.
We're installing distribution automation devices designed to reduce outages by identifying system faults and automatically closing and opening circuits. This helps ensure that if one city circuit fails, another is available to get your lights back on.
We're also improving restoration times by installing cellular devices on both underground and aerial circuits that inform our control operators if an outage occurs in a specific location.