National Grid Power Outages: What to do and who to call
Power out in your home? Find out what to do, who to call, and how get your power service back and running, no matter what the situation is.
What to do When Your Power Goes Out
- Determine the cause of the power outage. Is it affecting only your home, or your neighbourhood? If only your home is affected, check that you haven't blown a circuit
- Call the appropriate number to notify National Grid. Report general outages at 1-800-867-5222, or call National Grid payment assistance at 1-800-443-1837 if you haven't paid your bill
- Follow electrical and power outage safety guidelines as you wait for power to be restored
The first thing you should do when your power goes out is to check to make sure that you haven't blown a circuit in your home. Blown circuits happen when you use too many electrical appliances at the same time, and the circuit gets overloaded.
If you were using multiple electrical appliances at the same time and the power suddenly went off, it is possible that one of your circuits has tripped. In this case, make sure to unplug some of your electrical appliances and check the circuit breakers in your electrical panel. If one of them has tripped, simply push the lever fully "off" and then "on".
Call National Grid if this is a local outage. Their number for outages and electric emergencies is 1-800-867-5222. It is helpful to have the following information handy when you report an outage:
- The location, date, and time of the outage
- Whether you saw or heard anything out of the ordinary
- Whether your neighbours have power as well
- Keep in mind that it may take some time to get in touch with a customer service representative because other customers are also reporting the outage. Check the National Grid website or their Twitter account to see if they are aware of the problem.
You can also report an outage online.
Power Outage Safety Tips
Follow these tips to stay safe during a power outage:
- Stay clear of downed power lines
- Make sure to turn off any electrical appliances (e.g. electric ovens, ranges or space heaters) that may have been in use when the outage occurred
- Unplug any sensitive home electronics that may be damaged when power is restored
- Do not use gas ovens or ranges to heat your home
- Avoid using candles for lighting, as they can cause a fire if tipped by animals or people, or if they come in contact with a combustible item. Use flashlights instead
- Never run a generator in your home, basement, or other indoor space where exhaust fumes may accumulate
Food Safety During Power Outages
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible - an unopened fridge will keep food cool for about four hours
- Use perishable food from the refrigerator as quickly as possible
- A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. If it's possible that the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for items in your freezer
If you have recently moved, it is possible that power was cut if your home was uninhabited for an extended period of time or because the previous inhabitant did not pay their bill. You will need to contact National Grid as soon as possible to see when you can have power reconnected. Be aware that you may have to pay a reconnection fee, and that it may take several days to have power restored.
If you would like more information about assistance with your bill, call National Grid Customer Service at the appropriate phone number for your area. You may also be able to request assistance online through your online National Grid account.
That being said, if you suspect that your power is out because you have missed a bill, call National Grid Payment Assistance at 1-800-443-1837 to make a special payment arrangement to have your service reconnected. Their hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., or Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.