Ask Bob – July 2022

Bob Pierce headshot

Bob Pierce answers questions about energy efficiency, consumer products, and cooperative governance. He is Clearwater Power’s Chief Operating Officer and welcomes your questions on our Ask Bob page.

Q: My house got hit by a power surge during a lightning storm and damaged some of my electronics. Can Clearwater Power help with this?

A: This spring has brought us a lot of lightning. We’ve heard of homes, trees, and even power lines being hit. The best way to protect your home (indeed the only way) is to use a whole-house surge protector. There are 2 main types:

  • Whole house meter-base surge protection (Type 1)
    This is a permanently connected, hard-wired device that is usually installed at the meter between the utility’s equipment and the consumer’s home. These must be installed by the utility.
  • Whole house panel-based surge protection (Type 2)
    These are installed on the consumer’s side of the meter, usually at or near the electric breaker panel. These should be installed by a licensed electrician.

If your home or appliances are damaged during a lightning strike, you should consider contacting your homeowner's insurance. Electric utilities are only responsible for our own equipment which ends at the “point of service” or, in other words, your electric meter. Anything past that point is the domain of a licensed electrician. We are not authorized to inspect anything beyond our service point. We are not trained or licensed to inspect or even comment on anything past our own point of service.