Outage FAQs

Photo: Powerline damage from storm

  1. Information about outages is available by calling our toll-free number 1-800-488-6151. Boise and Treasure Valley customers may call 208-388-2323.

    When you call to report an outage, our customer service representatives will ask the following:

    • Your name, your business’ name (if applicable), address and telephone number
    • The approximate time power was interrupted
    • If the entire area is without power, or just your business or home
    • If you saw or heard anything unusual when the power went out
    • If you can see any power lines on the ground

    Remember: If there are lines on the ground, stay at least 10 feet away. The lines could still be energized and dangerous.


  2. Yes. It’s possible for neighbors to be on different feeders. A feeder is an overhead or underground electrical line that supplies power to a combination of residential and/or commercial customers within a given geographical area. Feeders do not necessarily align with streets, neighborhoods or community boundaries. Two different feeders could easily serve one street. A feeder can serve up to 2,000 customers.


  3. First, find out whether your neighbors’ electrical service has been restored. If they also are without power, call our toll-free number 1-800-488-6151, or 208-388-2323 from Boise and the Treasure Valley, and Idaho Power will send out a crew to investigate.


  4. Get details and tips on how to prepare for an outage.


  5. Minimize driving in an outage area. When driving through an outage area, traffic lights may not be working. These intersections should be treated as four-way stops.


  6. If you have a portable generator, never attempt to connect it to house wiring. This could feed electricity back into Idaho Power’s utility lines and seriously injure or kill Idaho Power crews working to restore your power.

    Instead, carefully follow manufacturers’ instructions on plugging appliances into a temporary generator. Always use it in a well-ventilated area and install it according to electrical codes and manufacturers’ instructions.

    To avoid the risk of personal injury, only a qualified installer or licensed electrician should connect a generator to utility, home or business wiring.

    Check out this Using Portable Generators (PDF) brochure. It gives more details about generator safety recommendations and guidelines.


  7. It is your responsibility to protect your equipment from power outages and fluctuations. To protect highly sensitive equipment, install sensors designed to shut off the power supply if substantial power fluctuations occur.

    Unprotected equipment should be unplugged, or the circuit breaker shut-off, until power is restored. We suggest leaving one light on so you’ll know when power has been restored.

    Once power has been restored for about 10 minutes, equipment should be brought back online in stages. Energize one breaker or fuse (or large piece of equipment) at a time and ensure the equipment is working before moving to the next breaker or fuse. This provides additional protection for your equipment. In addition, waiting 10 minutes before resetting the breakers or fuses helps eliminate problems that can occur if equipment is brought back online before Idaho Power’s system is stabilized.

    If doors are kept closed on refrigeration equipment, cool temperatures can be maintained for several hours. Dry ice can be used to protect the contents during extremely long outages. Use gloves when handling dry ice and use caution not to place it directly on the contents.

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