How do I notify Unitil of my life support equipment?

If you or a family member uses electrically-operated life support systems, we encourage you to notify Unitil in advance of any outages by submitting our Physician’s Certification Form found here via email, fax or mail. Once we receive this form, your account will be noted and we will include a notification to you in the event that we anticipate adverse weather or a scheduled outage which may result in a power outage. Click here for more information.

It seems like there are always “bubbles” on the map. Does that mean you have poor reliability?

No, it means we have lots of customers! While rare, things like animal interference and motor vehicle accidents can cause an outage for small groups of customers even on a seemingly quiet day, weather-wise. We have crews standing by 24 hours a day ready to roll in the event of any power interruption and most of the time, outages are restored within a few hours.

What new features or enhancements do you plan on making to the map?

Things like enhanced mobile compatibility or further integration with our social media platforms are possibilities for the future, but for now, we want to focus on customer feedback from the existing system and then decide how best to proceed.

Does each bubble represent a different outage requiring a separate fix?

Typically, but not always. Sometimes, in the minutes immediately after an outage is reported, the system is waiting on additional data before it declares all of a group of customers are impacted by the same issue. When this happens, the map displays multiple bubbles for brief periods. Our dispatchers are trained to recognize these situations when they occur and make sure the crew is headed to where it needs to go.

I’m not sure if I’m a Unitil customer. How can I tell on your map?

Several towns within Unitil’s service territory are served by multiple utilities. While the map shows some general boundaries on the service area, the best way to confirm whether or not you are a Unitil customer is by checking your electric bill or by calling Customer Service at 888-301-7700 800-852-3339 (Capital-area NH) or 800-582-7276 (Seacoast NH).

What are the chief reasons for electric outages and what is Unitil doing to manage the causes?

Electric outages can have several different causes, and while Unitil works hard to maintain its system, things like severe weather and motor vehicles accidents will always have the potential to cut power to customers. A video showing the different ways Unitil restores power to customers can be found here.

The outage map still says assessing. What does that mean?

If the electric outage map says “assessing,” that means that our crews are in the field sizing up the extent of the repairs needed. As soon as estimated restoration times are available, they will be posted on our website.

What might cause a delay in restoring my power?

Sometimes obstacles blocking access to our power lines can slow the restoration process. That could include downed trees, blocked roads, unplowed or flooded streets or dangerous situations. Conditions throughout the system can also cause delays. Several small scattered outages can be more time consuming to repair because they involve individual stops to reconnect lines to each home.

The outage map isn’t showing up on my computer screen. Do I need to have a certain web browser or download a special software to see it?

The outage map is built to work on standard computer operating systems and web browsers. There may be a specific issue with your browser we can’t help with, but we encourage you to call our Customer Service to make sure the map is working properly on our end. Additional information is also posted on our Twitter feed, @Unitil

Why do my neighbors sometimes have power and I don’t?

It could be that your neighbors are served on a different circuit, but there could be trouble in just your section of the line or in the equipment that services you directly. Or, the cause of the outage could be an individual service problem at your home, unrelated to Unitil.

My power is out – why is it not showing up on the map?

The electric outage map is a window to see the types of outages our crews are already aware of, and is based on the information relayed from our customer service team. While small delays in updates to the map are always possible, if your outage isn’t on the map, it may not have been reported yet. Always call customer service or report your outage online if you lose power to assure your issue is in the system!

Why did a service truck go through my neighborhood without stopping to restore my power? Will the truck come back?

Yes, it will come back. Although your restoration is important to us, sometimes there are more urgent priorities that need to be addressed, such as public safety hazards, critical care, emergency operations centers and communication centers.

The truck may also be on the way to a transmission line, substation or circuit outage that will restore the greatest number of customers at the same time, you included. Our crews work round the clock during an outage, so they will return to your location as soon as they can if you remain without power.

How do I report my electric outage?

Customers can report their electric outage by calling our customer service line at 800-852-3339 (Capital-area NH) or 800-582-7276 (Seacoast NH) 800-301-7700 or by reporting online here.

What happens when I report my electric outage?

When you report your outage, a customer service representative makes sure that your address is loaded into our outage management system. The computer then looks at all the different calls coming in and takes its best guess based on the information which comes in as to where the trouble originated. A crew is then dispatched directly to the outage. This is another reason why it is so important to call in any outage; the more info which comes in, the better information the computer has and the faster a crew can get where it needs to go.

How current is the information on the map?

There is a lag of a few minutes between the information on the map and the information our crews are working from, but the data customers see on the map is basically the same as what our operations teams are working from. Occasionally, there will be a delay in an outage getting removed from the map, and crews need to confirm work is complete before the map is cleared.

What does ETR mean? And why do you give a range of time?

ETR stands for “estimated time of restoration,” and is our best estimate as to how long it will take to restore power. As estimates are by their very nature inexact, we provide a range of times in order to try and give you a general idea as to when work will be complete and power will be restored.

A few hours ago your website said my power would be on at 9pm, then it went up to 9:30pm, and now it’s saying 10pm. Why does it keep increasing?

Sounds like something unexpected happened in the field. Our estimated restoration times are based on the best information we have, but they are still ultimately estimates. We will update those times if needed as an outage unfolds overtime. If we have additional information we think helps explain what is going on, we will relay that info via Twitter, @Unitil.

I see this map is for electric outages; do you have a map for natural gas customers?

No public-facing outage map for natural gas customers is planned at this time, though we are constantly reviewing new ways to provide information to customers and will continue to review new options as technology makes them available.

Is there a mobile app my family can download to access the outage map easily?

There is no mobile app at this time, though we are looking into this as a future option for customers. In the interim, the map is viewable through the Web browser on most mobile devices, including Droid, iPhone and iPad. We also post information on outages on our Twitter feed, @Unitil.

Can I receive text messages or emails when my outage is restored?

Not at this time, but we provide an optional service where we can give you a call to the number we have on file with your account when we believe power has been restored to your area. Sometimes, power can be restored to a street but an individual service issue may still impact your home. If this occurs, call us back right away so we can get a crew out to look at the issue. A private electrician may need to make repairs to your own equipment before we can complete restoration.

Our electric outage map provides real-time information on power interruptions.

Do you rely on medical life support at home? Be prepared for an outage.

Stay Informed

Other ways to stay informed:

Unitil on Facebook  Unitil's official Twitter feed  Unitil's YouTube channel
Unitil on LinkedInUnitil's photostream on FlickrUnitil's RSS feed