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Outage Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I get more information about outages?
  2. Could one customer’s power be out, but a neighbor across the street still have electric service?
  3. What should I do if my power is out for substantially more than two hours?
  4. How can I prepare for an outage?
  5. What about driving in outage areas?
  6. What about using a generator?
  7. Where can I find out about energy saving tips for my home?
  8. Where can I find out about energy saving tips for my business or office?
  9. How can I protect my equipment during an outage?

1. How can I get more information about outages?

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

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

  • 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 any lines on the ground, stay at least 10 feet away. The lines could still be energized and dangerous.

2. Could one customer’s power be out, but a neighbor across the street still have electric service?

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. What should I do if my power is out for substantially more than two hours?

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. How can I prepare for an outage?

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

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5. What about driving in outage areas?

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

6. What about using a generator?

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 brochure. It gives more details about generator safety recommendations and guidelines.

7. Where can I find out about energy saving tips for my home?

Idaho Power offers 30 Simple Things You can Do To Save Energy filled with facts, tips and actions you can take to reduce electricity use and make your home more efficient and comfortable.


8. Where can I find out about energy saving tips for my business or office?

Our Business Specific Energy Saving Tips provides information for hotels, health care facilities, restaurants, grocery stores and office buildings. We also offer energy consultations designed to increase energy efficiency at your business.

9. How can I protect my equipment during an outage?

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 the power is restored. We suggest leaving one light on so you’ll know when the power has been restored.

Once the power has been restored for about 10 minutes, equipment should be brought back online in stages. Energizing one breaker or fuse (or large piece of equipment) at a time and ensuring the equipment is functioning properly before moving to the next breaker or fuse provides additional protection for your equipment. In addition, waiting 10 minutes before resetting the breakers or fuses will help 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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