Report An Outage

BTES strives to provide reliable electric services. In the event of a power outage, please call: 

423-968-BTES (2837)

This automated system tracks outages and helps us quickly pinpoint where the problem is located. It uses caller ID technology, making it very important that we have your correct phone number on file. If your electricity is out you must call from a “wired” phone. A cordless phone will not work while your electricity is off. To ensure your power outage is reported correctly, please verify that the phone number listed on your next electric bill is correct.

Power outages are automatically reported if you have our fiber optic services.

Our dispatcher can detect if your power goes off and when it comes back on. This system helps BTES have more knowledge of our power system and helps us restore power faster. 

Call 423-968-1526 for problems other than an outage.

Power Outage Frequently Asked Questions
  • How does BTES manage increased calls during an outage?

    BTES uses an automated power outage reporting line. When you dial 423-968-BTES (2837), your call is routed through a computer. The system uses caller id to identify your account.  Make certain your home phone number is correct on our account information.  If you are calling from a different number, you can enter your home phone number to identify your account. Our automated line allows us to process more calls and get electricity back on quicker for all customers. 

  • Does BTES know when I have lost power?

    If you have BTES’ Internet, telephone or cable television services, we know right when you have lost power. To report an outage you can call 423-968-BTES (2837).

  • If my power goes out, what should I check?

    Check your circuit breakers or fuses to see if it’s an isolated problem. Next, examine your meter. If the meter box or any wires look damaged, call a certified electrician. They may need to make repairs before BTES can reconnect power. If you don’t find any problems, call our outage reporting line at 423-968-BTES (2837).

  • Who do I call if electrical wires have been pulled away from my house?

    BTES is responsible for delivering power to your masthead. You are responsible for repairs from the masthead into your home. If service has been pulled away from your house, a qualified electrician must make the repairs.

  • What are BTES' priorities for restoring service?

    Our crews work around the clock until everyone has power again. BTES follows a three-step process recognized as an industry standard best. Hospitals, police departments, fire stations and other public health and safety facilities are priority one.  Outages are then prioritized by the number of customers affected.

    Step 1 – Repairs are made on sub-transmission lines to substations and on main distribution lines that leave the substations. 

    Step 2 – Crews fix damage to tap lines that branch off into groups of homes or neighborhoods. 

    Step 3 – Power is restored to pockets of customers and then to individual homes.

  • Do elected officials, employees or other important individuals get special attention?

    No. BTES does not give preferential treatment. Work is not assigned according to where they live or the status of their account.

  • Is power automatically shut off during a tornado?

    BTES will not turn off power unless instructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). For the safety of our crews, we will not attempt to restore service until conditions improve.

  • How can I tell if a downed power line is still carrying electricity?

    Any line could be energized, so never go near downed power lines. Electrocution is a real danger when storms strike. Tell your children about the potential hazards and to stay away from all wires and cables. Report the emergency by calling 423-968-1526.

  • What if I have special medical needs?

    If you or a family member rely on an electrical life-sustaining medical device in your home, call us at 423-968-1526 to make sure we are aware of it and so we can obtain the required documentation. This will allow us to notify you if BTES plans to shut off power to make repairs to our equipment. In some cases, severe storms can damage our electrical system so badly that it takes days to fix. If you depend on electricity, it's important to have an emergency back-up plan in place. This documentation will not stop BTES from disconnecting your power if you have failed to make your payment nor does it change our service restoring priorities listed above.

  • Are there safety concerns in using a portable generator?

    Never operate a generator inside your home. Keep it outside for proper ventilation. Do not plug the generator into an electric outlet. Plug appliances directly into the generator, and only use extension cords when necessary. The number of appliances a generator can safely power depends on its rated wattage. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper use and load. Only a licensed electrician should attempt to hook up a generator to the main electric panel of your home or business. If it’s connected improperly power can "back feed" into utility lines creating a safety hazard.

  • Who do I call if a tree falls near a power line?

    If a tree falls within 10 feet of a power line resulting in an outage, leave the work to us. If the line is on the ground or if the tree is laying on power lines, report the emergency by calling 423-968-1526.

  • Why would a BTES crew pass my house without stopping?

    The crew could be looking for the cause of the outage or working at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to your home.

  • How long does food last after the power goes out?

    According to the USDA, food stored in a fully-stocked freezer will stay cold for two days. A half-full freezer will keep items frozen one day. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold four hours after power is lost. Check the temperature inside your fridge once electricity is restored to determine if the food is safe to eat. It should be at or below 40 degrees with the freezer at or below zero degrees.

  • How do I report a street light problem?

    Call BTES at 423-968-1526


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