For the fastest response to an electric service outage or emergency, report to Electric Dispatch at 217.789.2121.
For the fastest response to a water service outage or emergency, report to Water Dispatch at 217.789.2323.
Attempting to use other means to report a power outage or other emergency (including by emailing or calling other department phone numbers or by posting to CWLP's social media pages) is NOT the most efficient
way to ensure your report gets through. In fact, using these other communications options might significantly delay your information from reaching the appropriate response personnel.
Although our Electric Dispatch phone system has been designed to allow a large number of calls to be handled quickly and efficiently, it is possible that—during very widespread outages—you might have
difficulty having your call quickly answered by either a live dispatcher or the automated system. If this should happen to you, please know we are doing our very best to respond to all calls
and we need to hear from you. If Dispatch isn’t already aware of your power outage, please keep calling until you get through.
First, check to make sure you haven't blown a fuse or tripped a breaker.
Once you've confirmed you (and possibly your neighbors) are experiencing an
actual service disruption, call our Electric Emergency number, 217.789.2121 to report it.
Warning: Attempting to report an outage by calling a different CWLP number or sending an email to the
CWLP Public Information email box are not efficient ways to ensure your report will be
received. Such actions might even impede our ability to restore your power in the quickest possible fashion.
Depending on the volume of calls being received by our Electric Dispatch Center,
your call should either be answered by one of our dispatchers or routed through our automated
answering system. During massive outages, there is a possibility that both our "live" and automated
response lines could be overwhelmed, making it difficult for you to get through.
Please know that we do everything possible to ensure this won't happen, but if you should experience
difficulty reaching us, please try again later and keep trying until you are successful.
Even during widespread outages, it is best not to assume we know your service is out.
In the event of a severe storm, damage can occur not only to major infrastructure components that
carry power throughout large parts of the city but also to the service wires that feed individual homes.
Next, try to not to open your refrigerator or freezer unless absolutely necessary. In the event
of an extended outage, this will help the units stay cool or cold longer to help preserve your food.
Turn off (unplug, if possible) lights, appliances and electronics. This will help protect them against a possible
surge when power is restored. Keep one light or radio on to let you know when power has been restored.
Some power outage updates are posted on CWLP's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/4cwlp) and can be accessed via a smart phone.
More Tips about What to do During a Power Outage
When a large number of outages occur, there are many logistical details that must be worked
out both before power restoration can begin and while it is being carried out.
CWLP has a detailed emergency response plan in place for dealing with these logistical
concerns and prioritizing restoration work. After outage events, utility officials review and,
if necessary, modify the plan based on lessons learned from each event.
Power restoration logistical planning begins as soon as the utility becomes aware of impending extreme weather.
Staffing at the utility's Electric Dispatch Center is increased to handle incoming
phone calls and line crews are placed on alert. When an outage occurs, crews begin damage
assessment as soon as it is safe to do so. Depending on the severity of the damage and how widespread it is,
this process can take anywhere from several hours to several days,
and often continues after power restoration work is well underway.
Again, depending on the severity of the damage, another early step in the logistical process might
involve issuing a request for assistance (mutual aid) from other utilities
(see the discussion When Will Your Power Be Restored? below). During this same time,
staff members are working with suppliers to obtain poles, wire and whatever other materials
will be needed to repair or replace damaged equipment. As with the damage assessment,
this process is typically ongoing throughout the restoration period.
CWLP uses a three-phase, prioritized service restoration plan that is designed
to ensure power can be restored to the greatest number of customers with the greatest possible speed.
Often, during a widespread outage, loss of service is caused by damage to substations or major transmission
lines or towers. Damage to these types of infrastructure components can affect
thousands or even tens of thousands of customers at a time. However, hundreds or thousands
of other storm-related outages may be more localized, occurring, for instance, when branches fall
on distribution lines that might serve anywhere from one to a handful of customers each. During a large-scale
power outage, customers can be affected by one problem (for instance, substation damage) or
by a combination of problems (for instance, substation damage and a downed service line).
All problems affecting a customer must be corrected before their electricity can be restored.
CWLP uses a three-phase, prioritized service restoration plan that is designed to ensure power can be restored to
the greatest number of customers with the greatest possible speed. For a detailed illustration
and explanation of our prioritized service restoration plan, see the Prioritizing Power Restoration discussion above.
We understand the frustration our customers feel when we are unable to give
them what they feel is a "reasonable" answer to the question of when their power will be restored.
Unfortunately, during a major outage, determining how long it will take to restore power to any given area of town,
neighborhood or individual customer can be extremely difficult. This is especially true when significant,
widespread infrastructure damage has occurred. Sometimes, the best answer we can give is that our crews are
working around the clock and will continue to do so for as long as it takes to restore power to every customer.
During major outages, the utility adopts an "all hands on deck" policy, with line crews rotating on
and off shifts of up to 18 hours each. If necessary, CWLP also has the ability—through
our participation in a national "mutual aid" program—to seek assistance from line crews from
a number of other utilities throughout the United States.
Because of the way the electric system is set up, it is entirely possible that
nearby homes or businesses might have their power restored before yours is. However,
if you notice that your neighbors have power but your service is still out, please call 217.789.2121.
If your individual outage is the result of an isolated pocket of damage or a downed service wire
about which we are unaware, your call will alert us to that.
When you call our Electric Emergency Dispatch telephone number, 217.789.2121, to report an outage, our Outage Management System (OMS) works better when we have your correct phone numbers on file.
Through our Integrated Voice Response (IVR) our phones at Dispatch are synced to automatically populate our outage map by identifying your location and when available, can provide you with a
status report on whether you are in an area being affected by a known service problem. This can dramatically improve the speed with which we are able to respond to service problems and to
provide you with information about them. However, optimum performance of this response system is possible only if we have accurate customer information.
To ensure we have correct phone numbers on file for your account, please contact Customer Service at 217.789.2030, email@example.com, or use one of our forms on the following page.
To report a street light outage or other non-emergency utility issue, please use the report a problem page.
Report a Problem