Power Outage Tips

Copper Basin: 907-822-3211
Valdez: 907-835-4301
After hours outage number: 1-866-835-2832

Reporting Outages and Service Trouble

What to do During a Power Outage

Why are the Lights Blinking?

Why do I reach a recording when reporting an outage?

Red Cross Outage Tips

Reporting Outages and Service Trouble

CVEA encourages members to call in to report outages, service problems, and potential electrical hazards. 

Contact your local office during normal business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to report outages.

This number provides consumers with direct contact to the dispatch center at Solomon Gulch Hydro Plant. Please only use the toll free number to report outages. If you have billing questions or other business, call your local office.

During power outages, it is likely that you will reach a recording. This is because the plant operators are working to resolve the outage and dispatching crew. For more information, click here. Please leave your name, phone number, and service location including milepost number.

If your power is out, no matter what time you call, you will probably be asked several questions so we can determine how best to remedy your situation.  A list of the questions is as follows:

  1. Have you checked your breaker panel for tripped circuit breakers?
  2. Is all your power out?
  3. Have you checked the breaker at your meter?
  4. Do your neighbors have power?
  5. Have you had an electrician check your circuits?

If it is determined that the line crew needs to be called out after business hours you will also be read the following statement.

If the line crew is called out and it is found NOT to be CVEA's problem, you will be required to pay an after-hours service call fee of $100.  If repairs are required to CVEA facilities as a result of damage that was caused by you, you will be required to pay the actual cost incurred for the callout - minimum amount of $400.

What To Do During a Power Outage

Outages happen. Snow, storms, high winds, traffic accidents, nosy animals in substations, electrical equipment malfunctions, and digging and hoisting during construction are among the many causes of power outages.

Where will you be when the lights go out? What will you do? Here are some tips.

If the outage is not associated with an extreme storm and seems to last a long time, call CVEA. There is a chance that power was restored to your neighbors and you could still be without power.

Why are the lights blinking?

When the lights in your home or business blink, it means that the system is working to keep your lights on as well as protecting itself from damage.

Just as circuit breakers or fuses protect the electrical system in our homes, CVEA has devices to protect the power lines that deliver electricity to our homes and businesses. These devices are called Oil Circuit Reclosers (OCRs). OCRs automatically reset themselves if the problem that caused them to open is no longer present. Problems that cause a power line to trip off (fault) include a tree falling on the line, a conductor slap due to wind, snow or ice, or critters getting into the line.

An OCR reacts to a fault by beginning a series of internal switching operations. It opens and closes a switch, as many as three times, testing to see if the fault has cleared itself. This is why you see your lights sometimes blink up to three times. On the fourth operation, if the fault is still there, the OCR will remain open and disconnect the line segment. This results in a power outage for that section of line.

Before OCRs, if any problem on the line existed, there would be a definite outage and the crews would be dispatched to fix the problem before your electricity could come back on. OCRs, while causing the lights to blink, help to keep on your lights.

Why do I get a recording when I call CVEA to report that my lights are out?

The lights go out. You find the flashlight and start looking for the phone. Dialing 1-866-835-2832, you reach Solomon Gulch hydro plant's voice mail. What are those guys doing over there? Do they know that the power is out in my neighborhood?

The likely answer is yes. If the plant operator does not answer the phone, they are probably aware that there is an outage and are already working to restore power.

The job of a plant operator at Solomon Gulch is a busy one. Hydro operators not only run one or both hydro turbines, at certain times of the year (winter) they also operate the cogen project at Petro Star and multiple reciprocating diesel units at either or both the Glennallen diesel plant or the Valdez diesel plant. When the system is running smoothly they also perform routine facility and equipment maintenance. On top of all that, they also answer the phone. When that first call to report an outage is received, the operator may know there is a problem and he may not. In either case, when someone's lights are out the priorities immediately shift to diagnosing the problem and getting the necessary resources moving to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. The hydro plant is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During major system outages, answering the phone becomes a secondary priority to restoration of service.

We encourage members to call in to report outages, service problems, and potential electrical hazards. We understand that it is frustrating to receive a recording, but please remember that we are trying to restore your power as quickly and safely as possible. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience and disruption of electrical service. If the outage is not associated with an extreme storm and seems to last a long time, please call again. There is a chance that power was restored to your neighbors and you are still without power.