What to Do When the Power Goes Out in Alberta

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While power supply is quite reliable in Alberta, it is possible that you might experience a power outage under certain circumstances. Here we explain the various reasons for why your power might be cut, and tell you what you need to know to get it back.

Blown Circuit


The first thing you should do when your power goes out is to check to make sure that you haven't blown a circuit. When you use too many electrical appliances at the same time you risk overloading the circuit, which will cause it to "trip". If you were using multiple electrical appliances at the same time and the power suddenly went off, it is likely that one of your circuits has tripped. In this case, make sure to unplug some of your electrical appliances and check the circuit breakers in your electrical panel to make sure that there aren't any that have tripped. If this is the case, simply push the lever fully "off" and then "on". 

Power Outage

Check outside to see if power is out just for your house or for the whole neighbourhood. Call your local utility (wires services provider) if this is a local outage. You can find the number to call on your electricity bill, or on our list of emergency numbers for electricity and gas in Alberta. It is helpful to provide the following information:

  • The location, date, and time of the outage
  • Whether you saw or heard anything out of the ordinary
  • Whether your neighbours have power as well

Be aware that it may take some time to get in touch with a customer service representative because other customers are also reporting the outage. Check your wires services provider's website or Twitter to see if they are aware of the problem.

Find your local wires services provider

Planned Outages


Sometimes your wires services provider may plan an outage in your neighbourhood in order to perform construction or maintenance activities. They will notify you in advance of any scheduled outages. If this is the case the outage should last only a few hours.

When to Call 9-1-1

Only call 9-1-1 if there's an emergency related to a power outage, such as:

  • You see power lines down in your neighbourhood. DO NOT GO NEAR DOWNED POWER LINES
  • A tree is touching a line and power lines are sparking
  • There is a fire near or related to power lines

Power Outage Tips:

If your power is out for only a few hours, you don't need to worry about food spoilage. That being said, try not to open fridges or freezers during an outage, so that food stays as cold as possible.

Try not to use your cellphone too much and use up its battery.

It is a good idea to have a few flashlights & a battery-powered radio (with some spare batteries) in case of a power outage.

You should still be able to use a phone that plugs directly into the phone jack

New Home

If you have recently moved, it is possible (though fairly unlikely - find out why power is rarely cut for residential homes in Alberta) that power was cut if your home was uninhabited for an extended period of time or because the previous inhabitant did not pay their bill. You will need to contact your local utility as soon as possible to see when you can have power reconnected. Be aware that you will have to pay a reconnection fee. Most utilities can ensure reconnection within three to five days, but can reconnect power in less time at an additional cost.


If your energy retailer has not received payment from you, they will send you at least two warning notices before contacting your wires services provider to disconnect service. Power disconnection due to non-payment is a last resort, and your power will never be completely cut in the winter.

Find out more about what happens when you don't pay your power bill.

Reconnection After Non-Payment

You should get in touch with your energy retailer as soon as possible if your energy has been disconnected due to a problem with payment. Many energy retailers will make special payment arrangements for customers in financial difficulties. In general it is a good idea to get in touch with your power retailer as soon as you realise you are going to have difficulty paying your bill; acting quickly will more likely help you find a temporary solution, and may help you avoid having your power cut altogether.

In order to get your power back after it has been disconnected for non-payment, you will have to pay a reconnection fee to your power distribution company on top of any reconnection fees charged by your energy retailer. This can make the sum of your bill rise very quickly, so it is a good idea to try to avoid power disconnection at all costs.