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Power Outages: Frequently Asked Questions

At Holy Cross Energy, we get you the power you need 99.999% of the time. Here’s what you need to know for that .001% when life, luck, or Mother Nature gets us down.

First, check your circuit breakers or fuses. A tripped breaker or blown fuse is a common reason for loss of power. Fortunately, they’re easy to remedy.

Circuit breakers or fuses are housed in a main panel box. The main panel box could be inside or outside your home. To reset a tripped breaker, flip the switch all the way off, then flip it back on. If you have fuses, you’ll need to replace the blown fuse with a new fuse of the same amp rating. Don’t stand in water when touching breakers or fuses.

If your circuit breakers and fuses are working properly, check our outage map. If we’re not already reporting the outage, or in case of emergencies or hazards including downed power lines or equipment that is sparking, please call:  970.945.5491 or 970.949.5892.

Want to be the first to know about outages? Set up notifications through your account or the Smarthub app.

Follow us on Facebook at Holy Cross Energy. We’ll post our most up-to-date information there first.

Sign up for notifications:

1. Through the Smarthub app

2. Online in your account under Settings: Manage Notifications

3. Call member services at 970- 945-5491

Our technicians do their best to accurately estimate when they can restore power, but many factors effect their ability do so, including the time it takes to complete repairs and connections. It’s also highly inefficient to field individual calls, so we post the most current information available on our Facebook page and notification system, so everyone can quickly and efficiently access the information.

We provide the most current updates available about power outages and restoration progress on our Facebook page.

You can also subscribe to notifications or track our Outage Map.

When an outage is reported, our system estimates the average amount of time it takes for our crews to restore service. That time may change once a crew makes a detailed assessment on site. For example, when power lines are damaged during a storm, repairs may take longer based on what kind or repairs and how much of the line needs repairs and when weather allows our crews to safety make the repairs. If the restoration time is revised, you will receive an update with the new time as well as confirmation once power has been restored.

Sign up for notifications through your account or Smarthub and we will text or email you when power is restored, or follow our Facebook page.

As soon as it is safe to do so, our technicians assess the cause of the outage and any damage and determine what resources they need to repair it. We make repairs based on how quickly we can restore power to the greatest number of members. We prioritize essential services such as hospitals, water treatment facilities, and police and fire stations. Then we prioritize residences, restoring service to groups of homes before individual lines.

Mother Nature’s temper is the most common culprit. Tempestuous storms. Whipping winds. Lightning striking. Scorching temps. Freezing rain. Sometimes human error or animal antics are to blame, such as a truck crashing into power lines or squirrels square dancing on power lines. Occasionally random acts like a tree falling, equipment failing, or grid overload can cause your world to go temporarily dark. Any interruption in the flow from power generation to supplying homes and businesses can cause a power outage. Our crews investigate and report the cause of the outage whenever possible, but sometimes the cause is unclear. Regardless of why it happened, we’ll restore power as speedily as we safely can.

The four most common types of power outages are permanent fault, brownout, blackout, and rolling blackouts.

  1. Despite its name, permanent faults are not permanent. To the contrary, they’re the easiest, and often quickest, to fix. Typically caused by a power line fault, once the fault is repaired or replaced, power returns.
  2. Brownouts occur when the voltage in the overall electrical supply drops. While you won’t lose all power, your lights may dim or flicker, and high-demand appliances such as your oven or hair drier may work poorly or not at all. Reduce your electrical use until voltage returns to normal.
  3. Blackouts are severe interruptions in the electrical system when large numbers of people lose electricity entirely. Usually caused by major damage to the facility that generates electricity, blackouts are often more difficult and time consuming to repair.
  4. Rolling blackouts are planned power outages to compensate for a lack of ability to meet electricity demands at any given time.

Generally, you should be able to use your cell phone for as long as your battery allows. However, you will not be able to recharge your cell phone when the power is out, and calls may not go through if cell towers are affected by the outage.

Protect electric appliances during a power outage by turning them off to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards, and so any electrical surges don’t damage them when electricity is restored. Use surge protectors.

Gas stoves can be operated manually during a power outage by lighting the burner with a match or lighter. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.

Generators, camp stoves and charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows.

Generators can supply electricity when your power goes out, but know how use them safely.

●      Only use generators and fuel outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and attached garages.

●      To prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you, your family and pets.

●      Keep the generator dry and protected from rain or flooding. Touching a wet generator or devices connected to one can cause electrical shock.

●      Always use heavy-duty extension cords to connect the generator to appliances.

●      Let the generator cool before refueling. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.

●      Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

We have an extraordinarily reliable electric grid and supply, but if you need 100% reliable, uninterrupted electricity during power outages, our Power+ program is for you. Installing a backup battery storage system in your home or business allows you to efficiently store energy directly from the grid or from your solar system, then use it during grid-power outages. Our Power+ program makes it easy.

For short outages, leave it. Keep the doors closed and your food should be fine for at least 4 hours in a refrigerator and 48 hours in a freezer. For prolonged outages, assess perishables to determine whether they are edible. You can find specific details on food safety at


Water purification systems may not work during a power outage, so only drink bottled, boiled or purified water until power is restored.
These brief mini outages are a normal part of our safety system to prevent larger outages. When a recloser detects interference, such as a tree limb, it triggers the mini outage. If the interference is temporary, resetting appliances will restore your electricity. If the interference is prolonged, the line remains de-energized until our technicians safely resolve the interference.
We can cook your dinner, warm you on a cold night, and bring the whole wide world to your fingertips, but even we can’t control the forces of nature. Check with your insurance agent to see what compensation your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers for any damages to your home or property.