Outage FAQs

How can I find out when my power will be restored?

The approximate time we expect to have power restored will be shown under “Estimated Time of Restoration” on our outage map. Keep in mind we must first determine the cause and extent of an outage before we can provide a more accurate estimated restoration time.

Updates to the map may be delayed if there are multiple outages in our service area. Our crews prioritize service restoration efforts and will work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible when there are widespread outages.

Where can I find the cause of the outage?

The reasons for outages will be indicated on our map, if known. If the cause hasn’t yet been determined, “Pending Investigation” or “Investigating” will be indicated. Here are the causes that may be listed:

  • Equipment Damage — Examples include outages caused by vegetation interfering with electrical equipment or when equipment is found damaged, but an exact cause cannot be determined.
  • Equipment Damage - by Weather — Examples include outages caused by debris blown into lines during storm, wind damage and lightning strikes.
  • Equipment Damage - by Vehicle — Examples include outages caused by vehicles that crash into equipment or poles and construction vehicles that damage underground cables.
  • Poles/Wires Down — Any situation where power poles or power lines are on the ground, presenting a potential public safety concern.
  • Equipment Repair/Replacement — An example would be equipment failure during a high usage period.
  • Emergency/Public Safety Issue — Examples include service interruptions that occur when firefighters are responding to a structure fire or utility crews are responding to a natural gas leak.

Because some common issues can be resolved shortly after they are identified, a cause might not appear before the outage disappears from our map. Customers can log into My Account to review the causes of outages that have recently affected their service address.

What does the outage status mean?

Our map will show the stage of restoration for each outage:

  • Gathering Outage Information — In this early stage, UniSource is receiving reports from customers while employees conduct an initial evaluation of the outage.
  • Crew Dispatched to Scene — Crews are on their way to an affected area.
  • Crew on Scene — Crews have arrived at the affected area and are assessing public safety issues and equipment damage and preparing to restore service.
  • Restoration/Repair Underway — Crews are actively working to restore service and repair or replace equipment.

How do you prioritize repairs if there are multiple outages from severe damage?

UniSource focuses on restoring power to the greatest number of customers as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible. Our highest priority is addressing any emergency and safety hazards. When that’s handled, we start by repairing damage to our transmission system, which supplies electricity to substations that deliver power to our entire community.

We also focus on restoring power to critical service providers, such as hospitals, police and fire, local utilities, government offices and communication centers.  After we’ve powered up all vital services, major retail centers and main corridors, we work in smaller neighborhoods until everyone’s lights are back on.

Why are some outages fixed quickly while others take much longer?

The time it takes to restore power depends on the cause, extent of damage, repairs needed, location, required equipment and materials and availability of crews, among other factors. Restoring power is a complex task that requires significant logistical expertise, highly skilled workers and specialized equipment. These elements must come together in a coordinated cadence to restore the flow of energy through our network of power lines, substations, transformers, relays and circuit breakers.

Some outages can be resolved safely and quickly, perhaps by removing a balloon or tree branch from our lines or replacing an easily accessed piece of equipment. When more extensive repairs are required, our troubleshooters isolate the damaged area and restore power to as many customers as possible by switching them to another circuit if we have capacity. A larger crew then responds to make final repairs and restore power to the remaining customers.

After a storm that causes widespread damage, some outages may last longer because crews are working elsewhere. In emergencies, our teams work 16-hour shifts, even in punishing conditions. They also need recovery time for their health and safety, and our designers need time to evaluate outage impacts and system capabilities.

What causes brief outages that are less than a minute?

Short service disruptions can be caused by temporary electric faults or voltage irregularities. The power may go off and then come back on either right away or within 15 seconds. These incidents can be annoying because you’ll see your digital clocks on appliances blinking and will need to reset them.

The potential causes could include a nearby lightning strike or power outage, vegetation touching power lines briefly, wildlife interfering with our equipment, or other sources of interruption. If our system detects a fault, a short outage can occur. This brief outage helps protect our electrical system from more serious damage, which could result in more widespread outages.

If such incidents persist, they could indicate a need for repairs to equipment in your area. Please contact 877-837-4968 to report any power quality concerns.

Short outages and momentary dips or surges in voltage occur occasionally even in the most reliable electric systems. Customers can help protect any particularly sensitive electronics by using uninterruptible power supplies, smart power strips and surge protectors.

Why is my power out when I can see that my neighbors have power?

UniSource’s local energy grid is divided into circuits, just like your home. In the same way that a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker at home may affect just one or two rooms or even certain outlets, a power outage may affect only some homes in a neighborhood. Homes on the same street can be served by different power lines, substations and transformers. Circuits may be repaired and brought online at different times.

There can be issues with UniSource’s grid that only affect your home, such as damage to your service line or other dedicated equipment. But if you’re the only one affected by an outage, it’s possible that a problem with your home’s electrical system has tripped one or more breakers on your service panel.

If you are experiencing a grid outage, please report it using our mobile app or by calling 877-837-4968.

Why do I have power to only part of my home?

If the problem isn’t a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, there could be an issue with your service line. Many homes are connected to the grid by a three-wire system that powers both standard 120-volt outlets and larger 240-volt outlets. The failure of one of those wires can cause voltage issues or loss of power to some outlets and not others.

Why are UniSource crews leaving my area when I still don’t have power?

It may be that work is needed at a different location that would allow us to restore service to your home or area, or that crews must wait for the right equipment to be delivered to make repairs. Sometimes crews are called off their current job to make emergency repairs that present a public safety threat.

How frequently is information on the outage map updated?

The outage map is updated every 5 minutes, providing a snapshot of service interruptions in UniSource’s service area. The estimated time of restoration is updated as progress on the restoration changes due to many possible factors. If there are multiple, simultaneous outages throughout our service area, there may be a delay in updates to the map.

Why does the outage map appear to not have been updated since I last checked?

Updates may be delayed if our crews are addressing multiple outages. It’s also possible that your web browser or internet service provider may have retained a previous version of our map in a temporary storage file called a cache. You may need to refresh your screen and/or clear your browser’s history or cached data files.

What should I do if I lose power?

If your power is out, report the outage using our free mobile app or log in to My Account. You also can call 877-837-4968. Using our automated phone system, we will call to let you know when service has been restored. Reporting an outage helps us locate the potential problem so that we can begin repairs.

You can also visit the outage page on our website for information about the outage area, the approximate number of customers affected, possible cause, status of our response and estimated time of restoration. Visit uesaz.com/outages/.

How do I know where there are outages?

Red areas on the map show the approximate area of the outage. These areas include outages reported by customers and/or confirmed by our crews. Because outages affect distribution circuits that do not neatly conform to geographic areas, some or even most of the addresses displayed within the red box may have electric service. For safety and privacy reasons, outages affecting fewer than 25 customers are not shown on the map.

I rely on a medical device that uses electricity. What should I do?

Customers with someone in their household who uses a life-sustaining medical device or has a medical condition requiring continuous use of electricity should sign up for our Medical Device Alert program. Under this program, UniSource will keep you informed about service disruptions and notify you in advance of any planned outages affecting your residence. Participating customers should have a backup power supply or consult with their medical care provider to have a plan if there’s an outage. Please note that this program does not guarantee uninterrupted power and participants are still responsible for paying their electric bills.

UniSource Energy Services: How you can help during an outage

How you can help during an outage

If your home or business is affected by a power outage, here are some steps you can take to help UniSource restore service as quickly and safely as possible.