Your Power is Off. What Should You Do?
- Verify your entire house is out. Check fuses or breakers.
- If you have determined your home is out of power, unplug any appliances you were using when the power went out. Leave a light on so you know when power is restored.
- If your power remains out for more than a few minutes:
- Report the outage online or call United Power's Outage Line at 303-637-1350.
- If the outage is widespread, our phone lines may be busy when you call. Please be patient; your call is important to us.
- When you report an outage, provide as many details as possible. If you heard a loud bang or your neighbors have power, let us know. This will help us restore power as quickly as possible.
Outages occur for a number of reasons. In the event of a large or wide-spread outage, we prioritize repairs in order to get the largest number of members back on first.
- First, we check and repair any damaged transmission lines. These are the lines that bring power to our electrical system.
- Equipment or line repairs at substations will be done next in order to transfer power from transmission lines to the main distribution lines throughout our service area.
- After the substations are repaired, we turn our attention to our main distribution lines, and then to tap lines, which carry electricity from the main distribution lines to smaller groups of members.
- Once all distribution lines and tap lines are repaired, we begin working on service lines, which typically bring power to only one or two locations.
Restoring power during inclement weather or after a large accident can be a big job. United Power maintains a 24-hour, 365 day-a-year dispatch center so if you should lose power, be assured we’re working as quickly as possible to get your lights back on.
During widespread outage situations, United Power 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 United Power to receive and forward outage information to service crews more quickly than a manual call system and frees up our dispatch clerks so they can assist and monitor our crews so they can safely restore your power.
A "power blink" is when your lights appear to flicker for just a split second up to a few seconds. Power blinks occur when an object, such as a tree limb, comes into contact with a power line or other equipment. To prevent an extended outage, damage to the line or your home, a "recloser" will sense a change in current caused by the obstruction and briefly interrupt electricity for a fraction of a second. There is no need to report power blinks.
Occasionally during an outage, your power may temporarily go out after being restored. In these situations, it usually means linemen are working on a power line or other electrical equipment in order to restore power to other members.
United Power monitors our electric system and often knows about outages on distribution circuits, power lines and substations, but we do not always know about outages impacting just a few members. To ensure we are aware of your outage, please call United Power at 303-637-1350, or login to SmartHub to report your outage. Please do not assume that someone else has reported your outage. By letting us know when you experience an outage, you help our crews restore your service more quickly.
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 United Power’s system.
If you determine the problem is outside your home, report your outage to United Power. 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.
The outage restoration process begins at the point where power feeds into United Power’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.
If you see a United Power 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 ensures all members have their power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
On occasion, your power may go out while your neighbor's power remains on. There are a couple reasons this could happen. Remember to check for a tripped breaker or other electrical problem to rule out an outage caused something in your home. Your neighbor may also be receiving their electricity from a different power line or substation.
United Power maintains a list of members who have medical equipment that requires electricity. United Power will give members with special medical needs 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.
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. United Power provides updates on the status of large outage on our website and via a recorded message on our automated outage phone system and updates them with new information as it becomes available.
Consider all fallen wires to be energized, regardless of whether or not they appear to be safe. Report the fallen power line to United Power immediately. Make sure your children, pets and neighbors stay away from the power line and any objects it may be touching.
If you experienced a recent electrical outage that you believe may have caused damage or loss, please visit the link below to file a claim. Please be aware that United Power is not responsible for damages, if said damages were caused from factors beyond our control, such as, but not limited to storms or outside interferences. In addition, United Power’s responsibilities for damages are governed by the terms of our Tariffs which impose a limit on our liability.
United Power 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 lighting strike or downed power line can send a surge of electricity through your home, potentially damaging appliances. Computers, TV’s 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.
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 the American Red Cross’s Food Safety web page.
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.
Read more generator safety tips here.