Power surges can be dangerous.

Tree limbs falling on power lines. An animal touching a transformer. Lightning. Turning your vacuum cleaner on. Your air conditioner cycling on. All of these activities have the potential to create a power surge in your electric service. All of these also have the potential to result in damage to major appliances and sensitive electronic equipment.

That’s why Ripley Power and Light offers a two-tier surge protection program.

The first level installs a device at your meter to protect large appliances, such as a refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, and heating and air-conditioning system. The cost is $5.95 per month plus a one-time $10 installation fee. You’ll find both fees on your utility bill.

Power and Light recently changed suppliers for its surge protection program because the new supplier offers a warranty if damage occurs. The new supplier has a 15-year warranty from the date of manufacture that pays for damage to white appliances – stoves, refrigerators, central air conditioners, freezers, and the like – if a surge caused the damage.

Customers’ second level of protection is a one-time purchase of plug-in surge protection devices for sensitive electronic equipment, including computers, entertainment systems and garage door openers. The purchase can be added to the electric bill at zero interest and is easy to install without professional help.

Power surges occur when the flow of electricity is interrupted, then started again, or when something sends electricity flowing back into the system. Surges can range from five or 10 volts when you turn on your hair dryer to thousands of volts if lightning strikes a transformer.

More than half of household power surges originate in the home. They can occur dozens of times of day when devices with motors start up or shut off, diverting electricity to and from other appliances. Refrigerators and air conditioners take most of the blame, but smaller devices can also cause problems.

External power surges most often occur when a tree limb touches a power line, lightning strikes utility equipment or a small animal climbs into a transformer. Surges can also occur when the power comes back on after an outage.

Meter-based surge protectors divert extra electricity through a house’s grounding wire when a power spike occurs outside the home. Plug-in surge protectors divert extra electricity to an outlet’s grounding wire during a power spike originating inside or outside the home. Both protectors work together to provide maximum coverage during an electrical surge.

Interested in surge protection for your home? Fill out this online form.