When it comes to utility rates, usage and equipment, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Below, we set the record straight on four common utility myths.

MYTH: After a major storm or hurricane, power is always restored to certain residential neighborhoods first.

TRUTH: At OUC, we have a proven and established plan for restoring power after a major storm. If storm-related outages occur, we immediately begin to evaluate the damage to our electric system. Once the evaluation is complete — and weather conditions permit — OUC first restores power to critical areas such as hospitals, police and fire stations, and other emergency facilities. Next, OUC makes repairs that will restore power to the greatest number of commercial and residential customers in the quickest manner possible. Finally, OUC repairs damage that often affects only a few individual customers at each location. Learn more here.

MYTH: Homes with aluminum wiring will always have significantly higher electric bills.

TRUTH: When installed properly, aluminum wiring is a safe, reliable and less expensive alternative to copper wiring in your home. Aluminum wiring, which meets the National Electrical Code, has a minimal impact on a home’s electric utility bill — less than a few cents each month. In fact, the majority of electric utility companies, including OUC, use aluminum cable for their main service lines.

MYTH: Older transformers cause the customers served by them to have higher bills.

TRUTH: The transformers in your neighborhood have no impact on your household’s usage or your monthly utility bill.

MYTH: Wireless or remote meter readers provide inaccurate meter readings.

TRUTH: Automated meters are solid state devices with no moving parts that use digital technology to accurately report readings wirelessly to a handheld device or directly to our server on a monthly basis. Based on a residence’s monthly consumption trend, OUC sets parameters to detect readings that fall outside of those normal limits and determine whether a re-read of the meter is necessary. OUC’s conservation specialists often can help identify the reasons for a spike in consumption through a free home energy audit.