How do I report an outage?
When you experience a power outage, report it by calling BREC at 1-800-392-4711. Phones are answered 24 hours a day. If the lines are busy, please try the automated outage reporting hotline at 888-461-COOP. The information you submit is immediately reported to the service center in the same manner as if you had spoken to a customer service representative. Rest assured that our outage recovery team will work as quickly as possible to restore electrical service.
What should I do if I see a downed power line?
Always assume every powerline is energized. If you see a downed power line it is important to stay away from it at all times and contact us immediately. Never try to remove anything that might be in contact with power lines, even if you think the line is not energized. Never attempt to drive over a power line.
Can I use a portable generator during my outage?
If you have a portable generator, it should not be connected to any of the utility power lines. It should be equipped with a properly installed double-throw switch installed by a licensed electrician. Generators that are not isolated or installed properly can feed back in to our lines and may cause serious injury to anyone coming in contact with those wires. If you plan to use a portable generator, here are some important safety precautions:
Read all instructions carefully and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
First, never run your generator indoors or in your garage. Generators should only be run in a well-ventilated area. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly if there is not adequate ventilation.
Second, plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords.
Make sure that extension cords are not frayed or worn.
Limit the electrical load placed on the generator to no more than the recommended wattage.
Do not connect your power generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
Use the generator only when necessary.
Turn the generator off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home.
For the safety of anyone who may be in the proximity of your home, do not attempt to connect your generator to your home wiring.
If you have any doubts about how to properly use a portable electric generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.
What should I do if I have a critical care patient in my home?
If you or another family member depends on life support, and the loss of electricity affects these life support systems, you need to have a contingency plan in place.
Caregivers of in-home critical care patients should always have an evacuation plan or a plan for how to handle extended outages in the event of a natural disaster or severe storm.
Where will Co-op vehicles be working?
During an outage we will have crews working on lines in your area. Many of these lines are along main roads and highways. For your safety and the safety of our crews, please drive slowly and be aware of our crew vehicles.
Why did a utility vehicle pass my house without stopping?
If your power is out you may see co-op vehicles drive by your house without stopping. There are several reasons why this might be the case. The crew may be en route to a location where immediate attention is required, such as a live line is down, they may need to inspect equipment along your main line, or they may need to return to base for further supplies. Crews repair damage to parts of the system that bring power to the greatest number of customers first before handling problems at individual homes. Please know that we are making every effort to restore power to you as quickly as possible.
Will I be compensated for my power being interrupted?
No. For reasons that can be technical, physical, or acts of God, uninterrupted electrical service cannot be guaranteed to your home or business. Events within and outside our control will prevent us from always having power at your location. While the power is out, no electricity is being consumed, so your meter does not register any consumption for billing. Upon restoration, none of your appliances will consume more energy than if the power had never been out.
Why are non-local utility vehicles working in the area?
In major outages, we call on assistance from other neighboring utilities and contract crews. For this reason, you may see vehicles from other companies in your area helping to restore power. These mutual aid arrangements assist in restoring power much more quickly than if we used only our own crews.