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Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS 

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Release: Immediate - An Energy East Company


Important information for customers using generators


AUGUSTA, Maine, Dec. 14, 2008 — Central Maine Power recognizes that a properly installed emergency generator can provide comfort and safety for homeowners during extended power outages. When improperly installed however, generators can pose hazards not only to homeowners and their property, but also to utility crews working to restore power. CMP offers the following safety reminders for people using generators during an outage:

  • Read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing or using a generator. Ideally, customers should have a licensed electrician install any generator that is connected to home wiring.
  • Generators that are directly connected to home wiring systems must use a double-pole, double-throw (DPDT) transfer switch to prevent power from feeding back onto the utility’s wires. An improper connection to home wiring can endanger utility crews, public safety officials, and the public.
  • It is a violation of the National Electrical Code to connect a generator to a breaker panel or a fuse box without the proper safety protection.
  • Before you start any generator connected to your home wiring, be sure to pull the main fuses or turn off the main circuit breaker and check that all wires are properly grounded. It is much safer to plug appliances or devices directly into the generator.
  • Always operate your generator outdoors in a clean, dry area. Never operate a generator indoors or near a building’s air intake. Without adequate ventilation, carbon-dioxide, carbon-monoxide, and other dangerous gases can build up and become deadly. Don't touch a generator if you are wet or are standing in water or on damp ground.

Customers using generators should watch for repair crews and turn the generator off when crews are in the area. It would be helpful if you alert them to the fact that you are running a generator. They can double-check for everyone's safety, and may be able to advise you when you'll be able to switch your generator off and resume using the CMP grid.

 About CMP: Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Energy East Corporation, operates more than 25,000 miles of power lines and other facilities that deliver electricity to 80 percent of Maine’s population. Web site:
About Energy East: Energy East Corporation is a respected, super-regional energy services and delivery company serving about 3 million customers throughout upstate New York and New England. By providing outstanding customer service and meeting customers’ energy requirements in an environmentally responsible manner, Energy East will continue to be a valuable asset to the communities we serve.