Should the Power Company Reimburse Me?


Perfectly Impractical
Aug 2, 2020
I'm surprised you don't have some counter measures in place, what with you living in Alabammy and this being hurricane season.
I'd rather store that Lean Cuisine chicken & pasta in proper cold, than struggle with trying to cook it over a makeshift fire pit, just to avoid throwing it out.


DIS Veteran
May 4, 2018


Aug 24, 2021
I would grill any meat that is thawed and go get a bunch of ice and keep it chilled. Hopefully your power will come back on and you can then freeze the cooked stuff.


DIS Veteran
Feb 20, 2006
I would grill any meat that is thawed and go get a bunch of ice and keep it chilled. Hopefully your power will come back on and you can then freeze the cooked stuff.
That is our usual plan B during outages that last long, the grill can be used as an oven.


Question anything the facts don't support.
Dec 15, 2003
More information is needed. If someone wiped out a transformer in an auto accident, no the electric company has no obligation since it isn't their fault. I guess you could take the driver of the car to small claims court if you had a loss.
But as others have mentioned, if you don't keep opening the door, your food should be fine for days if not a week.

fly girl

DIS Veteran
Jan 20, 2012
OP, we all understand the frustration of being without power ... it really is miserable. Something we completely take for granted unless we don't have it.

I highly doubt you will be compensated for anything by the power company. Sorry.


DIS Veteran
Apr 14, 2008
Unless you can show the outage was not only within the electric company's control, but SHOULD have been forseen and prevented, I don't see anyway they're on the hook for food or a hotel room. We've had outages caused by a driver taking out an electric pole. We've had outages caused by wildlife (ie: squirrels) getting into the transformer and shorting it out. I'm sure we've had outages caused by equipment failures. It's not just weather that can cause problems.

Personally, we would have suffered through the night, and probably a 2nd night before worrying about a hotel. The food I wouldn't worry about as of yet.
This. It’s not as simple as the power company is at fault/isn’t at fault type of situation. It takes a lot of manpower and a series of plants and systems to make and deliver power. The people who make the power are not always the people who maintain things like power lines and infrastructure. Then you’ve got your county and your state. Long answer short, no.


DIS Veteran
Apr 8, 2015
Actually, this happened last summer. Fortunately we had just returned from a vacation and didn’t food shop yet, we were out over a week.

Yes, unfortunately I remember this all too well. Actually, Hurricane Isaias was two years ago, in August of 2020. It left over 2.5 million homes without power in the NYC tri-state metro area. We were one of them; we had no power for 8 days. Every day we were told it would be restored, only to be told to wait another day. Finally it was restored not by the local crews, but by workers brought in from Louisiana. It was miserable in the heat.

It was a complete shock that PSEG offered reimbursement for spoiled food. We had to provide receipts and an itemized list, and it maxed out at $250 (more for commercial properties like restaurants). While our actual loss was much higher, we were happy to get a check in any amount. It was an unexpected surprise.

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Oct 23, 2015
No, the power goes out, it happens.

Power lines in new areas like my neighborhood are underground but things can still happen on the way although most often at the station from animals getting in to overload of the grid, etc. Sometimes the issue takes a while to discover the problem and then the solution. My neighborhood is uniquely split between two power grids although the company is the same it was formed as a merger, the power however is still treated differently in terms of supply.

Natural disasters are different, but if you're just discussing a normal power outage I've never heard of anyone thinking the power company owes them compensation. It does suck there is absolutely no doubt about it though.


DIS Veteran
Jan 17, 2016
Nope. Even if they caused this--and we don't know from what you've said, what the root cause was--you have a duty to mitigate damages. In this case, you could have saved your food with a few dollars' worth of ice from a nearby store. It could be argued that the hotel room was not necessary, either--nice to have, sure, but not required.

I would make a plan for future outages--freeze gallons of water, buy a generator, whatever you choose--and move on.