How to Report an Outage
Is it an outage?
You are at home going about your normal routine, and suddenly, your power goes off. Now what? Here are some tips on what to check before you call us, to be sure you have an outage and the problem isn’t on your side of the meter.
1. Check your breakers or fuses
2. Check with your neighbors to see if they are also out of power
3. Check your meter. If you look through the glass at the bottom of your meter, you should be able to see a small, illuminated red light. If this light is on, the outage is on your side of the meter, and you may need to contact your electrical contractor.
4. Provide any other information that may help us locate the cause of the outage, such as a downed tree, lighting strike, branch across a wire, etc.
To report an outage, call 444-2540 or 1-800-955-6083
Report an outage through the SmartHub App.
To use this service via a mobile device (Smartphone or tablet), members can download the SmartHub app free of charge from the Apple App Store (iPhone or iPad) or Google Play Marketplace (Android phone or tablet). Just search "SmartHub" or go directly to the app from your device.
Report an Outage via Text! (NEW!)
Beltrami Electric Cooperative (BEC) does everything possible to keep the lights on and to restore service as soon as possible. By being prepared and informed, you can assist us in restoring power in the timeliest manner possible. BEC crews work hard to restore outages as quickly and safely as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and patience during these times.
How Our Outage System Works
A power outage reported to us is automatically matched to our computer database using the phone number you call from. If you're not calling from the phone number in our system you can enter the number tied to your BEC account or you can enter your BEC account number and still be automatically matched.
The location of the outage then lights up on a map. This is why it is beneficial for BEC to have on file the phone number you are most likely to call from to report a power outage.
If we do not have your phone number, the outage line will tell you that your call does not match our records. Please know that these calls are still processed - it is just done manually, which may slow the process and our response time. We can store up to three numbers in our system, if you have a seasonal number or cell phone, please let us know. The current number we have on file is located on your monthly billing statement; please verify that that number is correct. If it is not, please call the BEC office at 218-444-2540 or toll free at 800-955-6083 and we will update that information for you.
Blinking lights can be a result of momentary outages that occur when some type of disturbance exists on the line. They most often occur when tree limbs or animals come in contact with electric lines, or when lightning strikes.
When lights blink, it can be an indication that the cooperative’s equipment is operating properly. If a fault or short circuit occurs on a power line, a device called an oil circuit recloser (OCR) opens to stop it, and then quickly closes. Although the process is quick – and usually temporary – it may cause your lights to blink, making it necessary to reset digital clocks and appliances with digital displays.
The OCR is essentially a breaker, functioning much like a breaker in the electrical panel in your home. It permits power to continue flowing through the line with only a brief interruption of service, rather than causing an extended power outage.
If the short circuit continues, the OCR will operate or trip three times before eventually stopping the flow of electricity and causing a power outage. This process prevents serious and costly damage to our equipment and lengthy outages for our members, cutting off power to a section of the line and isolating the problem until it can be repaired and service restored.
Although the weather and nature’s creatures are beyond our control, Beltrami Electric takes all possible measures to prevent these occurrences and minimizes the effects to our members. Members can lessen the effects and inconvenience of “blinks” when they occur by purchasing small appliances and digital clocks with battery backup. Other ways include installing meter-base surge protection for the major appliances in your home and surge protection with built-in uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for your computer or other electronic devices whose memory would be lost with a power interruption.