What are the most common causes of power outages? 

Most power outages are due to circumstances beyond our control, such as storms, high winds, and flooding. Car accidents and animals can also damage utility poles and transformers. Whatever the cause, we will do our best to restore your power as quickly as possible. On occasion, we will schedule a planned outage so our crews can make repairs or upgrades. In those cases, we try to work during off hours, and you will be notified well in advance.

How come my neighbors have power during an outage and I don't?

Your neighbors may be on a different supply line, or the transformer that serves your residence may not be the same as theirs. Or it may be a problem only in your home, such as a blown fuse or a damaged service wire.

What if I only have electricity in part of my house?

Circuit breakers route power to the different parts of your home. When one room has electricity and another doesn’t, it is usually because a circuit breaker has been tripped or a fuse is blown. The first thing you should do is check your electrical panel. You can usually fix the problem yourself by flipping the breaker switch or replacing a fuse. If those are OK, one or more of the service wires to your house may be damaged. In that case, you need to call us at 1-800-465-1212.

Why can't you tell me exactly when my power will be restored?

We will work as quickly as possible to get you back up and running. However, estimating the time of power restoration is not an exact science. Work volume, the cause of the outage, and the extent of the damage can all affect our time estimates.

Storms can cause widespread damage to our entire distribution system. High-voltage transmission lines are given first priority because they supply electricity to the entire system. Next, we focus on substations and local distribution lines that serve multiple locations. From there, your individual power service can be restored, but because of the complexity of our distribution system, we can give you only a ballpark time estimate.

Why did my power come back on, then go off again a few minutes later? 

Restoring power to your home is a complex and dangerous job. We may make a repair in one place, only to have damage down the line cause the power to go out again. We may also need to temporarily turn your power off to ensure our crew’s safety. If your power continues to go on and off after we have made repairs, please contact us at 1-800-465-1212.

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

Try to leave the refrigerator or freezer doors closed during a power outage. Refrigerated food can stay cool for six to nine hours. Frozen food can remain safe for up to 24 hours.

What are the priorities for service restoration? 

Our number one priority is safety for both our crews and the community. In a major storm, our first responsibility is to restore electricity to hospitals, police stations, and other vital public services that ensure public safety. We also clear all potential hazards such as downed wires, leaning utility poles, damaged transformers, and blocked roads. From there, we take the following steps.

• First, we assess our overall system and repair the power plants, major lines, and substations that carry power from us to you.

• We prioritize the repairs that will return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest period of time, then move on to the next largest number, and so on, until power is restored to everyone.

• We repair major streets before we focus on smaller streets. That’s because damaged substations, main electric lines, and transformers are located on major arteries that feed power to smaller streets and neighborhoods.

• Finally, we repair any downed or damaged wires between utility poles and your home. It is critical that you stay away from these until we can clear your area for safety.

Why does it seem to take so long to restore my power?

In the case of widespread damage, such as from a storm, it may be impossible to restore service to everyone at the same time. We must first give priority to public safety facilities. We then make repairs that restore power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Sometimes your circuit may be among the first repaired, and other times it may take longer to get to you. When there is a delay in restoring your power, please know that we are doing everything we can. We thank you for your patience.

Why did a service truck go through my neighborhood without stopping to restore my power? 

Our service crews must first tackle public safety hazards and make repairs that restore power to hospitals or police and fire departments. A truck may have passed your home on the way to one of these high-priority assignments.

When should I call to report an outage?

If your entire neighborhood is without power, or power goes out during a storm, it is usually not necessary to call us. We already know that your area has an outage, and it is important to keep your phone lines open.

However, if you see a live power line or electrical equipment that is sparking and dangerous, please report it immediately at 1-800-465-1212.

If you are still without power after repairs have been made in your area, please call us at 1-800-465-1212. Have your account number or phone number available when you call to report your outage. Our automated system will record your information and generate a report to have your service restored.

I have electrically powered medical equiptment in my home; what do I do if the power goes out?

If you have special medical equipment in your home, you may be eligible for our Life Support Program. For more information, visit our life-sustaining equipment page.

Does National Grid pay for personal property damaged in a power outage?

No. We do not reimburse customers for property damage caused by storms, acts of nature, or when we are required to turn off power in the interest of public safety. Please contact your insurance company to see about coverage.

Does National Grid supply generators to customers?

No, we do not supply generators. In certain situations, they can be obtained from your local fire department. Please contact your fire department for more information.