OnFocus – When the power goes out, more often than not Marshfield Utilities is immediately notified and dispatched to fix the problem. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions surrounding a power outage:
What is the most common cause of outages around Marshfield?
Believe it or not….squirrels, birds and tree branches are the most likely culprits of an outage in our area. MU takes a very proactive approach to tree trimming which eliminates a great deal of outages caused by branches. This proved to be beneficial during the storm of July 2019. While we still had a great deal of damage and several hours till power could be fully restored, we fared much better than other communities in Central Wisconsin.
Squirrels and birds are a bit tougher. We have tried several different devices meant to prevent the critters from accessing areas not meant for them. But they tend to be very determined!
Does MU know when the power goes out?
Generally MU will know when power goes out immediately. Our AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) system has alarms that notify a distribution group as an outage occurs. In most cases our crews are already on the way in to assess a situation when you are calling to notify us. There are some very rare instances where an isolated outage may not notify us. It never hurts to call and notify us of your outage.
What should customers do when their power goes out?
If your power goes out, first look outside to see if your neighborhood appears to all be out. If it is only your house you will want to check your breakers first. If you have a way to check Facebook, you can check the MU Facebook page to see if we have a post about an outage. Customers though should not try to notify us via Facebook. This message may not be seen in a timely manner! Customers can try and call our main number 715-387-1195 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday from 7am to 4pm) or for all other times our after-hours number 715-384-8515. If customers receive a busy signal or a message stating we are experiencing a high call volume then they can rest assured that we know about the outage!
Why do you not know how long it will take to restore an outage?
There are many factors in determining how long it will take to restore power. If the outage is due to a storm, there could be several areas experiencing an outage at once. Equally, many times the crew is not able to determine everything that will need repairing until they are in the middle of the repair.
Some communities text outage and other messages to customers, how come MU does not offer text alerts?
MU is in the process of contracting for a service that will allow us to do text alerts. It is a bit more complicated than some of the text services businesses use to do basic reminders. We will need a service that can tie into our AMI system and be savvy enough to know who should be texted and who does not need to be texted. MU also has been working to collect cell phone numbers from customers so we will be prepared once the service is in place.
For more information, contact MU at 715-387-1195.
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