How long does it take to restore the power supply if there is an unscheduled outage?

This depends on extent of the breakdown, its location and the particular power network. For example, if there is a supply loop in the area, we will be able to direct power through another line and restore power quickly, but sometimes we need to check dozens of kilometres of power lines to find where the breakdown is, isolate it from the rest of the line and restore the power supply for other consumers; only then can we start repairing the section containing the breakdown.

We always do our best to restore the power supply as soon as possible when outages are caused by breakdowns. We are using more and more automatic equipment and the latest technologies in networks to get timely and precise information about breakdowns, and this helps us restore the power supply sooner.

Call our fault notification line 1343 or check the map of outages on our web page for an estimate of how long it will take us to restore the power supply.

How does Elektrilevi repair breakdowns?

We use all our repair crews to restore power if there are large-scale outages, and sometimes emergency teams supplied by our partners also provide assistance, but the process of repairing a breakdown depends on the power network and is not always the same.

In some cases we can determine the location of a breakdown with remote automatics and quickly restore the power supply for consumers through another line and then start repairing the section where the breakdown is. However, some lines do not allow the power supply to be restored with remote control and a supply loop. The low voltage network has not been made fully automatic yet, and the only way we can receive the information about breakdowns there is when customers tell us. When we receive information about a breakdown, the dispatcher finds the nearest repair crew and sends them to identify the location of the breakdown, but sometimes we need to check dozens of kilometres of power lines to find the problem, so it can take several hours from the moment we receive the information until we can restore the power supply. This is why information about where exactly a tree has fallen on power lines or other problems is very helpful.

In some cases we may have to rebuild power lines to restore the power supply, and this may take several days.

Is there a priority system for restoring the power supply?

First we restore the power supply for vital sites such as hospitals and care homes. Priority sites also include places of major social and economic significance like airports, railways, mobile phone network antennas, and major farms with livestock. Then we restore electricity in regions with high population density with medium voltage networks, as there are more customers there who are affected by power cuts. Fixing the problems of individual consumers connected to the low voltage network in isolated forest farms or country houses will inevitably take longer.

Why do power outages occur in the first place?

Firstly, the electrical network is constantly deteriorating. Extensive building work was done on the power network in the 1970s, but investments were suspended at the end of the Soviet era and in the first years after Estonia regained its independence, and this neglect has by now affected the quality of the power network. Secondly, over 80% of all lines are overhead lines, so the network is exposed to weather conditions such as wind, snow, ice and lightning. As we are now able to increase the pace of upgrading the power network by replacing outdated overhead lines with underground cables, the number of power outages will fall in the future.

Thirdly, human activity such as excavation, forestry work or theft of metal from substations and other facilities has an impact on the network and may cause breakdowns.

How can you explain a constant series of short power outages?

Such outages can be recognised by the constant flickering of lights and usually occur for one of two possible reasons. They may be caused by a short circuit in the power network or by poor contacts in your electrical system or the Elektrilevi network on a line or at a substation.

We recommend you call our fault notification line 1343 to find out why such short power outages are occurring.