Outage FAQ

Report a Power Outage to Empire Electric

When Your Power is Off:

  • Verify that your entire house is out and that you haven't just blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
  • If you have determined that your home is out of power, turn off or unplug any appliances you were using when the power went out. Leave just one light on so you know when power is restored.
  • If your power remains out for longer than a few minutes, or if you want to report an electrical safety hazard, please call us at 970-565-4444. Your call will be answered by a Customer Service Representative or our Automated Outage Reporting System. If the outage is widespread, our phone lines may be busy when you call. Please be patient, as your call is very important to us.
  • When you call to report an outage, please provide as many details as possible. If you heard a loud bang, or if your power is out but your neighbors have power, let us know. The information you supply will help us in our efforts to promptly restore electricity.

To report an outage call us 24 hours a day at 970-565-4444 or 800-709-3726.

Outage FAQ

How does Empire manage calls during a widespread power outage?

During widespread outage situations, Empire will activate our automated outage reporting system. This system takes member calls and routes them to our automated outage tracking system. The automated system enables dispatchers to receive and forward outage information to service crews more quickly than a manual call system and frees up our dispatchers so they can assist and monitor our crews so they can safely restore your power.

Does Empire know I have lost electric service?

Our electric system is monitored and we often know about outages on distribution circuits, power lines and substations, but we do not always know about outages impacting just a few members. To insure that we are aware of your outage, please call us anytime your power is out at 970-565-4444. Please do not assume that someone else has reported your outage. By calling when you experience an outage, you help our crews restore your service more quickly.

What can I do to help get my power back on?

Before calling to report an outage, check your home's breaker panel (and any outdoor disconnects) to make sure the outage is not due to a tripped breaker. Check to see if your neighbors are also out of power. This will help you determine if the problem exists within your home or on Empire's system. If you determine the problem is outside your home, call 970-565-4444 to report your outage. You will need the following information available when you call: account number or phone number on the account and any details related to the outage. Please let us know if you heard a loud bang, saw damaged equipment, or if your neighbors have power, but you do not.

How do you decide whose power to restore first?

The outage restoration process begins at the point where power feeds into Empire's system. This could be at a substation, transmission line, or a main distribution line. After these repairs have been made, crews work on remaining outages and correct the trouble, beginning with areas serving the greatest number of members and continuing until electricity is restored to each member's home.

Why would an Empire crew pass by without restoring the power at my house?

If you see a service crew passing but not stopping, it is because work must first be performed at a nearby location or device before electric service can be restored to your home. Following the outage restoration process insures all members have their power restored as quickly and safely as possible.

Why does my neighbor have power and I do not?

It depends upon the cause of the outage. Remember to check and make sure your power is not out because of an electrical problem inside your home, such as a tripped breaker. If your neighbor has electricity and you do not, more than likely, they receive their electricity from a different power line or substation.

What about customers with special medical needs?

Empire maintains a list of members who have medical equipment that requires electricity. Members with special medical receive priority in the restoration of their electric service whenever it is reasonably possible to do so.

It is important to remember that extensive damage to our electric system could take numerous hours, or even several days, to completely repair. Members who must have electricity should be prepared with an emergency backup plan. The plan could include arrangements to move to an alternative location, use of a portable generator and/or installation of a battery backup on important electrical devices.

Why can't you tell me how long it will take to restore my power?

Each outage is a result of different circumstances, and some may take longer to identify and restore than others. As a result, outage restoration information may not be immediately available. In some sectors of our service territory, lineman must physically walk through remote mountain territory to investigate the cause of an outage, which can be time consuming. In other instances, system operators are able to quickly re-route power without dispatching crews to the field. Empire provides updates on the status of large outage via a recorded message on our automated outage phone system and updates them with new information as it becomes available.

What should I do if a power line falls in my yard?

Consider all fallen wires to be energized, regardless of whether or not they appear to be safe. Report the fallen power line to Epire immediately. Make sure your children, pets, and neighbors stay away from the power line and any objects it may be touching.

How should I prepare for outages?

Empire recommends having an emergency kit on hand so you are ready for any emergency. Include items like a portable radio, batteries, corded phone, and a flashlight. Store this kit in a designated place so it is easy to find. How do I protect appliances in my house? A lightning strike or downed power line can send a surge of electricity through your home, potentially damaging appliances. Computers, TVs, and other electronic equipment are expensive investments that are worthy of protecting from storm-related damage. Surge protectors provide a defense against power spikes and surges.

If power goes out, do I need to throw out all the food in my refrigerator and freezer?

To minimize the loss of food during a power outage, limit the number of times you open your refrigerator or freezer door. If the doors remain closed, refrigerated food can remain safely cold for about four hours; frozen food can remain safe for two days if the freezer is full and the doors remain closed. Learn more about food safety in a power outage by viewing American Red Cross's Food Safety.

Is a generator safe to use when I lose power?

A generator can be a wonderful tool during an outage, especially if you have special medical needs and require electricity. But, it can also be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Be aware that it's against the law, and a violation of electrical codes, to connect a generator to your home's electrical circuits without a generator transfer switch automatic-interrupt device. Otherwise, if a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard. In addition, the improper connection of a generator to your home's electrical circuits may endanger service crews helping to restore power in your area.