Customers using electrically powered medical equipment should call Clark Public Utilities so the utility can make a note in the account, even if the equipment used is not critical.
The utility works to provide highly reliable electric service, and almost all of the time, we do. Nevertheless, outages do happen. If you’re dependent on medical equipment to survive, or simply want the security of knowing your electronic equipment or appliances can run in the event of an emergency, we recommend owning a generator.
Although there are two kinds of residential-type generators, there’s a big difference in price. Portable, or back up, generators provide up to 6,000 watts of electricity. They sit outside and usually run on gasoline or diesel. Portable generators don’t create enough electricity to power your entire home — generally, they’re used to run individual appliances, such as a refrigerator or freezer, one at a time. If you need to run another appliance, you can run different devices by unplugging one appliance and alternating it with another.
Never plug a back-up generator into a wall outlet in your home. It could backfeed electricity onto the electric grid and put utility workers in danger. Also, place the generator in a dry area outside, away from the house so its exhaust doesn’t drift into your home causing carbon monoxide poisoning.
Whole house, or permanent generators, can power your entire home. Some models have up to 20,000 watts of electricity. To install a permanent generator, a qualified electrician wires it into the electrical system of your home. Depending on its size, you can keep several electrical appliances or even your entire heating or cooling system operating at once.
For permanent generators, you must have a licensed electrician install a transfer switch in your home’s electrical panel. In the event of an outage, this switch will cut your home’s connection to the Clark Public Utilities electric system before the generator starts. This is a critical safety feature that prevents your generator from backfeeding electricity into utility lines and putting our workers at risk.
Clark Public Utilities maintains a list of customers who cannot live without the use of electrically powered medical equipment. We also maintain a list of customers who rely on electricity for medical reasons, but whose dependence on electricity is less critical. Being on the list doesn’t guarantee electric service and every customer is responsible for making sure there’s a backup plan in place. But knowing about medical needs can make it easier for us to help you during an emergency.
Anyone in either category should submit a form so we know can note the account and property location in case of an extreme emergency.