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Essential Use Customers

Get an evaluation and apply for exemption, call us at 1-800-990-7788.

We make special arrangements to ensure that critical public services like fire stations and hospitals can continue receiving power to keep the public safe during a rotating outage. These facilities are called “Essential Use" customers.

Do You Qualify?

If you are a non-residential customer that provides a critical public service, you could qualify for Essential Use status, especially if your facility doesn’t have an adequate backup power supply. To get an evaluation and apply for exemption, call us at 1-800-990-7788. Want to see if you fit the criteria?

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If you fit into one of the categories below, you may qualify for Essential Use status.

  • Government agencies essential to the national defense
  • Hospitals and licensed skilled nursing facilities
  • Communication utilities, such as telephone utilities, as they relate to public health, welfare, and security
  • Navigation, communication traffic control, and landing and departure facilities for commercial air and sea operations
  • Electric utility facilities and supporting fuel and fuel transportation services critical to continuity of electric power system operation
  • Radio and television broadcasting stations used for broadcasting emergency messages, instruction, and other public information
  • Areas served by networks, at utilities' discretion
  • Rail rapid transit systems as necessary to protect public safety
  • Customers served at transmission voltages, to the extent that they supply power to the grid in excess of their load at the time of the rotating outage, or their inclusion in rotating outages would jeopardize system integrity
  • Optional Binding Mandatory Curtailment Program customers
  • Petroleum refineries, vital ancillary facilities, and other customers in the critical fuels chain of production
  • Water and sewage treatment utilities may request partial or complete rotating outage exemption from electric utilities in times of emergency, such as firefighting, that require their service

Please Note: We review and update our Essential Use Customer list annually. If your facility is reclassified (either essential to nonessential or nonessential to essential), you will receive notification 15 days in advance of the effective date of reclassification.

Exceptions to Exemption

Some Essential Use facilities are equipped with a backup power source that provides enough electricity to support it during an hour long rotating outage. These customers may not be exempt from rotating outages to allow greater support to facilities without enough standby equipment to continue operating safely. The exception to the exception? Hospitals and licensed nursing facilities are always exempt.

Inadvertently Interrupted? Get Restored

On rare occasions, an Essential Use customer may inadvertently experience a service interruption during a rotating outage. In these unusual cases, business customers please call 1-800-990-7788. We will take all possible measures to restore power quickly.