Q&A

Does NES know my power is out?

Not always. If you don’t have power, call us at 615-234-0000. The fastest way to report an outage is to use our automated voice response (IVR) system.

How long will I be without power?

We work aggressively to restore power as quickly and safely as possible after a storm – including bringing in crews from other areas to assist.

What are some after-the-storm safety tips?

  • Stay away from downed and sagging power lines. Call 911 to report hazardous conditions.
  • Stay away from flooded areas and debris. They can conceal downed power lines.
  • Resist the temptation to drive around looking at storm damage. You could hinder rescue efforts or restoration efforts and jeopardize your safety.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards.
  • Never operate a charcoal or gas grill inside the house.
  • If you leave your home, turn off appliances that may have been on when the power went out, or turn off your main breaker.
  • If you have any doubt about your home electrical system or are unsure of how to proceed, call a licensed electrician.

Why did NES crews leave my neighborhood if I still don’t have power?

There are several reasons this might happen. We often send crews to survey storm-damaged areas before we begin any repairs, which actually speeds restoration and helps us immediately address any dangerous situations. We may need to work elsewhere to fix the problem that’s affecting you and your neighbors. Lastly, we may need to work on a problem that will restore power to a greater number of customers.

Why does my neighbor have power and I don’t?

Storm damage can affect main power lines, individual circuits or both. It’s possible that your individual circuit is damaged – or your home could be on a different main power line than your neighbor’s. Finally, it may be possible that your home needs internal electrical repairs before you can receive service.

I’m going to have a hard time paying my next NES bill. What can I do?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NES has suspended power disconnections for non-payment until May 31. During this time, NES will also waive late-fee charges and will absorb credit card fees on behalf of customers.

What about the tree debris?

If you have tree or other debris on or near your property, there is a possibility it has power lines tangled in it. It is important that everyone stay far away from the area (especially children and pets). NES or Metro Public Works will likely need to clear the lines from the debris before linemen can reattach for electricity flow. Once the lines are cleared and your power is back on, it is the responsibility of the property owner to fully remove tree debris caused by the storm.

Do I need an electrician to make repairs?

If the storm damaged your meter base or pulled it away from the house, you may need a licensed electrician to make repairs. If wiring has to be replaced, an electrical inspection is required before service can be restored.

What if I want to use a portable generator?

  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust by operating your generator outside for proper ventilation.
  • Never refuel your generator while it is running. Let it cool down first.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector inside your home to warn you in case of a gas leak.
  • Do not store fuel in a garage, basement or inside your home. Vapors can cause illness and are a potential fire hazard.
  • Never wire your generator directly to your home’s electrical service or wiring, as it could backfeed onto power lines and pose a serious risk to NES line workers.
  • To set up a whole-house generator safely, contact a licensed electrician. A service order and electrical release is required.

Why did NES remove my meter? What do I need to do to have service installed?

If your home sustained significant damage and requires new electrical wiring, NES will remove the meter and close your account. This stops billing, so you won’t continue to get a bill for the service charge even though you aren’t using any energy. To have new service installed, contact Customer Relations after you’ve selected your contractor / electrician.

How does NES decide whose power gets turned back on first?

After we repair NES substations and the lines that carry electricity from them, we restore customers who provide essential services to the community, such as hospitals, police stations and fire departments. Then, we repair damage that will return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time. Finally, we restore small groups and individual customers.

Does NES reimburse for food loss or other loss caused by a storm?

Food loss or other storm-related loss is one of the many unfortunate occurrences in cases of extreme weather. Unfortunately, NES cannot assume responsibility for spoiled food or other losses caused by a storm, as extreme weather is beyond our control. You should check with your insurer and/or FEMA regarding loss claims.