Power Outage FAQ
Depending on the nature and extent of a storm's damage, it may be difficult to estimate a time when power may be restored in various locations. NGEMC crews work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
We understand that being without power is frustrating, and during widespread outages NGEMC crews work around the clock until everyone’s power is restored.
When there is extensive or widespread damage, there are too many variables at play for us to estimate when we’ll be in specific locations.
Here’s how the power restoration process works in such a situation:
Right after a storm hits, we begin assessing the damage based on a combination of remote monitoring and customer calls. However, it is not uncommon for us to find, when our crews arrive at a location to repair the damage, that the scope of damage is not exactly what was expected.
Not knowing the exact scope of work needed until we arrive on the scene is the primary reason we are not able to estimate the time it will take to get to specific locations. So, if you can see anything unusual, like a tree down on a line, and you can give us that information and location when you call, it is helpful.
Additionally, following large storms, with thousands of damaged locations, new damage being reported daily, and the changing scope of work and conditions, there is simply not a reliable way to predict when we’ll reach certain areas. For example, we may reach an area only to find out we will need a boat to reach a span of wire or that there are massive trees down in our way.
However, when the extent of power outage warrants it, our crews do work 24/7 to restore power. And they don't stop working until everyone is back on.
Any damage to NGEMC substations or main distribution lines from the substations must be repaired first in order to restore the flow of power and locate damaged primary and secondary lines before individual businesses and residences can be restored.
Please have a backup source of power ready for any essential medical equipment.
Rest assured that we continue working 24/7 to restore power and we do not stop until everyone is back on.
There are several possible reasons for this.
- A circuit breaker or main service breaker may have been activated. This may be reactivated by the home owner.
- Some neighborhoods get electricity from several different circuits, so you may notice your lights are out, but your neighbors have power.
- There may be a damaged transformer serving 3 or 4 homes in the neighborhood, but the transformers serving the remaining homes are working properly.
- The line connecting power from your street to your home could be broken.
- There may be damage to your meter or the equipment that holds the meter (meter center). If your meter center is damaged, contact a licensed electrician to repair it.
- Make sure that you’ve reported your power outage to North Georgia EMC – we may not be aware that your power is out unless you let us know.
We do work 24/7 to restore power and we will not stop until everyone is back on.
If you have reported your outage to us, you are on the power restoration list. If you haven’t reported your outage, please contact us:
My NGEMC Account Mobile App
Report your outage using our Mobile App available for free for Android and iPhone mobile devices.
During periods of high call volume, hold times may be longer than usual.
Thank you for your patience.
Dalton – (706) 259-9441; Calhoun – (706) 629-3160;
Fort Oglethorpe – (706) 866-2231; Trion – (706) 734-7341
During major outages, outage updates and restoration progress will be posted to our social media pages.
Renewable Energy FAQ
Yes. Through TVA’s Solar Solutions Initiative (SSI) with local power companies, NGEMC has installed a solar array at our Dalton office with a 89.6 kW generation capacity. The array may supply up to 15 percent of our Dalton building’s needs and give us first‐hand knowledge of solar technologies.
Yes, you could install a PV system yourself, but it may be wiser to hire a professional contractor so you can avoid complications or injury. Be sure to ask NGEMC about its interconnection requirements, including costs and liability insurance. If you have not already talked with NGEMC about your plans, do so now by contacting our energy services team. Discuss the steps you have taken to get to this point and provide information on the PV system you are considering. You need to make sure that the system meets NGEMC’s criteria for interconnection.
You may have many other questions about a solar power system’s installation cost, reliability, size and space needed, lifetime, performance at night or on cloudy days and what federal and state tax incentives are available. Visit the Solar 101webpage for answers to many solar frequently asked questions.
Yes. You will still be charged the System Support Fee (SSF), taxes and any extra charges if you pay for an outdoor light each month.
No. Our metering is bi-directional.
Yes. It is a good idea for you or your vendor to let us know once the project is agreed upon. We will need a copy of the one-line diagram for your system to check for loading issues and approve your plan for installation. Also, check with your local building authority for local ordinances. If you live in a community with a home-owners association, you may have to get approval from them as well.
All solar installs will have to be behind the meter. Your array disconnect needs to be installed close to your electric meter and clearly labeled as the array disconnect.
Currently NGEMC does not pay for excess generation pushed back to the grid. The TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) Dispersed Power Production program (DPP) is the only option to receive payback. If you participate in this program, you will be charged $5.25 a month for NGEMC to report the data to TVA for you to get paid. Visit the following link to review current program rates and guidelines:
Yes. You will need to sign an interconnection agreement. We have two: one is for consuming all you generate to offset your usage and sending the excess back to the grid with no credit/compensation. The second one is for generating/consuming and selling the excess to TVA thru the DPP program. Once the agreement is approved by NGMEC, you and your vendor will receive a copy. TVA requires that you have been approved by NGEMC before you can enroll in the DPP program.
Once the agreement and design are approved by NGEMC, installation can begin.
No. If the system is not able to be commissioned on the first visit by our technician, then a $275.00 trip charge will be adjusted to the account for each trip afterwards.
Our engineering department will review your plans. If any facility upgrades are needed, you will be responsible for the costs associated. This work will need to be completed before your system is installed. If you are installing panels on a large piece of property, a load study may have to be completed before the work is started. This will be the customers responsibility to pay for as well.
No, we do not have a list of preferred contractors. There are a lot of companies coming into the area. Research if solar is right for you before you sign any contracts.
Will your roof need an update in the next couple of years? If so, it may be a good idea to go ahead and do that. If not, a roof mounted array would have to be removed and the roof fixed and the panels reinstalled.
Check into local, state, and federal guidelines before your project begins. NGEMC and/or TVA would need proof of your clearance to install the generation on your property before design plans and agreements are signed. If you are planning to go through the TVA DPP program, notify them ahead of time about your plans.
- The Dispersed Power Production Program (external link) allows companies or residential customers to produce renewable energy such as solar, or co-generate green energy such as biomass, and sell all or excess generation back to TVA at TVA’s avoided cost.
- Contact NGEMC Energy Services for up-to-date information on other solar power development programs.
Vegetation Management Program FAQ
Trees growing into or near power lines can cause outages and can be dangerous. Trees touching power lines can give electrical current a path to ground, creating a potential hazard to people, animals and crews restoring power. They can also cause power outages by interrupting the flow of electricity or damaging the distribution line.
According to Georgia State statute, NGEMC and other electric utilities may maintain right of way easements in order to provide essential service to customers. We maintain a right of way of 20 feet on both sides of the power line. Any vegetation growing into that space or having the potential to encroach that area in the next five years will be trimmed.
Before we begin routine trimming, we notify you by phone to inform you of crews trimming in your area. If you are not at home, we will leave you a message. We also post current trimming locations on our website. If you have requested a vegetation management representative come look at particular tree, we will leave you a door hanger describing the work and a phone number at which you can reach us.
NGEMC contracts with experienced companies certified in vegetation management. Contractors use bucket trucks, climbing gear, and sometimes helicopters to trim trees that encroach in NGEMC right of way. Because of the high risks involved in trimming trees near power lines, NGEMC crews are trained to safely trim trees that are growing into the right of way. NGEMC strongly discourages anyone other than trained professionals employed by the utility from trimming vegetation that is near a power line or in the power line right of way.
Our certified arborist will meet with homeowners who wish to have a tree removed to determine whether or not the tree is endangering the power lines.
We do use herbicide along some rights of way. The herbicide is approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is applied only by contractors licensed to do that work. When applying herbicide, our contractors stay clear of buffer zones such as water sources, farmland and fence rows. You can request that no herbicide be used on your property by simply calling or e-mailing us with your name and address.
Never plant trees near power lines. Always consider the size, growth rate, and species before planting vegetation near the right of way. Vegetation that grows into NGEMC's right of way will be trimmed or cut. Plant vegetation outside of our right of way to eliminate safety risks and the potential for trimming.
Our vegetation management team typically does not remove trees that affect the service line from the transformer to the house. However, when vegetation is making contact with the service line, we will disconnect the service line so the member can remove the vegetation. When the work is complete, we will reconnect the service line. These services are provided at no charge to NGEMC members. To request a service disconnection for tree removal or if you have questions about trees in power lines, please contact NGEMC.
Mobile/Web App How To and FAQ
Select the Account Info icon to view a list of all of your accounts complete with due dates and balances. Select a specific account from the account list to make a single payment or to sign up for push notifications for that account.
Get a concise summary of each of your bills and link to PDFs of your available bills. If the PDF of your bill is not available, you'll see a message letting you know to check back later.
Once you've logged in and selected an account, select the Payment icon to initiate a payment for a single account or for multiple accounts, if applicable.
The Payment History icon connects you to a list of your past payments by month, including the date and amount of each payment.
The Alerts option allows you to manage the Alerts and Reminders you want to receive on your mobile device. Alerts and Reminders can be configured for each individual account and on each individual mobile device.
Quickly report an outage directly from your mobile device! When you select this option, if we already know about the outage that affects your account, you'll see the outage report right away. If we don't know about the outage, you'll automatically get the Report Outage form.
From the login screen, you have the ability to view our office and payment locations along with phone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation.
Also from the login screen, without logging in, you can connect directly to our Facebook or Twitter page for up-to-date information.
Without logging in you can get one-touch access to general information.
Our My NGEMC Account mobile apps are native apps that can be downloaded and installed on your compatible mobile device, while the mobile website is a web portal that runs directly in the mobile browser on your smart phone or other mobile device. Both the native apps and the website give you secure access to maintain your account information, to view your bills and your payment history, to manage your alerts and reminders, and to make payments on one or more accounts directly from your mobile device.
The native apps also allow you to register your accounts to receive push notifications for account milestones, such as an approaching or a missed due date. Push notifications are not available through the mobile website.
Our Mobile Apps are supported on the following platforms:
- iOS 7.0 and above (Apple Products)
- Android 2.3.3 and above
Yes! All critical information is encrypted in every transaction run through the Apps and the Mobile Web App, and no personal information is stored on your mobile device. However, mobile devices do offer you the ability to store your login information for apps installed on the device. If you choose to store your login information, any person who has access to your mobile device can access your account.
Both the Mobile Apps and the Mobile Web App give you the ability to view your accounts, view your bills, make secure payments directly from your mobile device, view your payment history, modify or maintain your subscriptions for alerts and reminders, and contact us via email or phone. Once you've installed a Mobile App on your phone, you'll also have the ability to receive push notifications and view a map of our offices and payment locations.
Simply look for our name in the App Store or in the Android Market. In the Android Market, if you can't find our App, that likely means your phone is not supported - see the list of supported operating systems.Search: My NGEMC Account (North Georgia EMC)
No. Our Mobile App is completely free to download and install.
Yes. Once you've logged in, you'll be directed to a list of all of your accounts. To see the details for a specific account, simply select that account and the details will display above the list of accounts. If you only have one account, the details for that account will show up as soon as you log in.
Yes. From the list of accounts, either select the option to pay all accounts, or select specific accounts for your payment. You can also make a payment to a single account by selecting the payment option when that specific account's details are displayed.
The information you see in the Mobile App and in the Mobile Web App is shown in real-time, so it's always accurate. However, if you keep your Mobile App or Mobile Web App open for an extended period of time, you should refresh the page by selecting a new option in order to ensure the information is still current.
Our App will display PDF versions of your available bills using the PDF reader you have on your smart device. We support and recommend the Adobe PDF reader for the best results on Android devices. On Android devices, if you do not have the Adobe PDF reader already installed, our App will prompt you to install it from the Android Market to ensure you are able to display and view your PDF bills correctly.
The first time you launch the App after installing it on your mobile device, you'll be asked whether or not you want to enable push notifications for our App on your device. Select OK to enable push notifications. Next, be sure to select each individual account and enable the "Notify" option for every account you want to receive push notifications on this specific device. If you have our App installed on multiple devices, don't forget to enable push notifications for your accounts on each device, as the push notification settings for each account are device-specific.
You do not have to log in to view addresses or maps to our office locations or even to get our contact information. Simply open the App and use the "Locations" link at the bottom of the login screen.
Surge Protector FAQ
Today more than ever, your world depends on electronics. Whether you are using a computer, watching TV, or charging a smart phone, the quality of your power is critical.
A surge is a sudden, quick increase in voltage. Though usually small and unnoticed by you, over time these surges can damage sensitive electronic equipment. In an average home, these small surges can occur many times a day.
Yes, refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, copier machines, laser printers, hair dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and power tools—just to name a few—are responsible for creating surges.
Surges created by a storm or single lightning strike near your home can seriously damage electronics. Power lines and utility poles that are damaged by animals, fallen tree limbs, and car accidents can also cause surges. Surges can enter your home through telephone, CATV, or power lines.
You can start with installing a “circuit panel” or “service entrance” style surge protector (also referred to as a surge suppression device) in your home. This device either reduces electricity spikes, or stops them from entering the house all together. This will protect your larger appliances, such as ranges, water heaters, washers, dryers, dishwashers and motors. A qualified electrician or your local utility can ensure proper installation. Proper installation is key because even the best surge protector in the world is useless unless it is correctly installed.
But don’t stop here! To further protect your electronic equipment against surge damage, you need to install a surge protection device within fifteen feet of that equipment. This can be done with a simple plug-in unit or one that wires directly to your equipment.
The best way to protect yourself form surges is through the combination of service entrance surge protectors, and additional protection 15 feet from electronics.
Not necessarily. Damaging surges can enter your home through phone and cable circuits just as easily as power lines. The same rule applies as before: protect your phone and cable cords within fifteen feet of your equipment. At locations that combine electric power with either cable television or telephone, make sure that the surge protector protects everything.
Yes. A surge protection device is only as effective as the electrical grounding circuit that is made available to it. Surge protection devices divert surge current to grounding wires in your home and then ultimately to earth where they are safely diverted away from your equipment.
A qualified electrician or your local utility can make that determination for you. Since most permanently wired surge protectors will require an electrician for installation, this may be a good time to have your grounding examined. Additionally, surge protection strips are only effective if used on three-prong (grounded) outlets.
No. Like most products, surge protectors vary in quality. Careful attention must be paid to how a surge protector meets your requirements. Read the information on the box carefully and consult the information under the "Surge protector checklist" heading.
Look for surge protection devices that carry a “UL 1449” label. Surge protectors also carry a “joule” and/or “surge-current” rating. The higher the rating of these two categories, the better is the quality of the internal surge-stopping components. Another important performance characteristic is the “clamping voltage.” This is the voltage that the surge protector will let through to your equipment before it diverts it to ground. A quality device will have status lights that will display correct input wiring configuration and failure indicator lights or buzzers to signify whether the device is working properly. See the "Surge Protector Checklist" tab for more information.
Expect to pay about $45–$100 for a higher quality eight-outlet plug strip with an internal phone protector. Stay away from those $8 specials. A residential circuit panel-mounted surge protector of higher quality will cost in excess of $100.
No. A variety of conditions can indicate that it is time to replace surge protectors. Two of the most prevalent signals are a failure indicator light going off and/or a buzzer sounding. Some surge protection strips are also designed to permanently turn off upon failure.
Contact NGEMC's Energy Services team who can provide information about proper selection, installation and use.
- UL Listing (“UL 1449 Listed” is good. “UL 1449 Revision 2” is better).The following terms do not indicate adequate surge protection: “UL tested,” “meets UL,” and “UL.” The surge protector should indicate that it is “UL listed.”
- For a plug strip, the clamping voltage should be UL 330 volts, the surge-current rating should be at least 36,000 amps, and the joule rating should be at least 360 joules.
- For permanently installed surge protection, the clamping voltage should be no more than UL 400 volts, the surge-current rating should be at least 36,000 amps, and the joule rating should be at least 360 joules.
- Failure indicator light or buzzer
- Status light (for indicating proper wiring and grounding)
- Recessed on/off switch on strip surge protectors
- Multi-mode protection (line to neutral, line to ground, neutral to ground)
- Adequate plug spacing (wide enough to plug in power supplies if needed)
It is highly recommended that a surge protection device incorporates phone/modem and/or coax protection to cover all plug-in connections and any given piece of electronic equipment.
Surge Protector for TVs and VCRs should also include:
- Coax plugs
Surge Protectors for Computers, Telephones, and Telephone Answering Machines should also include:
- Telephone line plugs
We rely on electricity for almost everything. Being without it, even for a little while, is inconvenient and disruptive. North Georgia EMC works hard to keep power outages from happening, but it’s impossible to fully prevent them. As consumers and business owners, we can take precautions to protect equipment from damage caused by inevitable disturbances in the power system.
Most surges are caused by operational or electrical problems with equipment like compressors, motors, elevators, air conditioners, pumps, etc. Faulty wiring can also cause surges or load imbalances that damage equipment and electronics.
Surges caused by voltage disturbances outside the building can reach equipment through telephone, cable television or power lines. External causes of surges include storms, lightning, wind, accidents, equipment damage or failure, wildlife and vegetation.
Surge protection installed at the service entrance, distribution panels and points-of-use may reduce business downtime and help prevent damage to costly equipment:
- High-powered machines such as motors, compressors, HVAC;
- Computers, printers, fax machines and photo copiers;
- Sensitive electronics like security alarm systems, telemetry or monitoring networks, barcode scanners, and thermostats;
- Critical healthcare monitoring and life support systems;
- Telecommunications and data processing systems.
Power or voltage surges are brief bursts of energy caused by a sudden change in the electrical conditions of a circuit. Surge suppression devices regulate the voltage supplied to an electric device either by blocking excess voltage or diverting it to ground.
Surge suppression devices do not provide back-up power. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a device that provides almost instantaneous temporary power when a permanent
power source fails.
- A UPS does not function as a standby generator or emergency power system, but works long enough to properly shut down protected equipment or to bring an auxiliary power source on line.
- A UPS is used to protect computers, data centers, telecommunications equipment or other electrical equipment where an unexpected power disruption could cause injuries, data loss or disrupt business processes.
Make sure that all systems have a common ground and enter the building within a few feet of each other. A qualified electrician and NGEMC can help determine if you have adequate grounding at your facility. Install surge protection in layers at different points in the electrical system:
- At the point of entry to protect against external disturbances.
- At distribution panels within the facility, especially if it includes large motors, welders, etc.
- At individual pieces of sensitive equipment and communication lines (phone cords, internet cables or coaxial cables – cable television or cable internet type connections).
Choose a product with the following features and information on the product packaging:
- Labeled as UL 1449 Listed or UL 1449 Revision 2 Listed; the following terms do not indicate adequate surge protection: “UL tested,” “meets UL,” and “UL.” The surge protector should indicate that it is “UL listed;”
- Joules (the amount of energy the suppressor can dissipate), ranges from 200 to several thousand, but the higher the number the better;
- Clamping voltage (the voltage at which the surge suppressor will divert the surge to ground) -- the lower the number the better -- typically 330 volts. Do not get a surge suppressor with a clamping voltage higher than 400 volts;
- A response time of less than one nanosecond;
- Failure indicator light or buzzer.
- Status light to indicate proper wiring or grounding.
- Recessed on/off switch on strip surge protectors.
- Multi-mode protection (line to neutral, line to ground, neutralto ground).
- Adequate plug spacing (wide enough to plug in power supplies if needed).