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Independence Power & Light works hard to provide its customer with safe and
reliable electric service. Power outages, however, do sometimes occur for reasons
outside a utility's control.

Line Trucks downed powerlines

In the event of a power outage take the following steps:

  • Check to see if other lights are on in your neighborhood. If other homes have lights, check for a blown fuse or a circuit breaker that has tripped to the "off" position.
  • If there are no other lights on in your neighborhood, or if you are unable to locate the cause of your power outage, call Independence Power & Light at (816) 325-7550.
  • Unplug televisions and computers. Leave a light or radio on to help you know when power has been restored.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food can stay cold for 12 - 48 hours, but that time is significantly reduced if the door is opened. City of Independence Health Department
  • Use extreme caution when going outside after a storm.  Stay away from any downed power lines. These lines are extremely dangerous, however not all power lines can be seen. Call IPL immediately, at (816) 325-7550, if you see power lines down.
  • Before using a generator, learn how to operate it safely.

Power outages can happen unexpectedly, at any time. The most common cause of power
outages is storm damage from ice, lightning and high winds. Outages are also sometimes
caused by motor vehicle accidents, such as cars hitting power poles, and by animals
and/or tree limbs coming in contact with distribution lines.

Most power outages last less than an hour, but it is always a good idea to be prepared for unexpected emergency situations.

Prepare a basic emergency kit which should contain the following items:

  • a battery powered radio, flashlights and batteries
  • bottled water
  • a first aid kit and essential prescription medications
  • canned or freeze-dried food and a manual can opener
  • a portable cell phone charger
  • kindling and firewood if you have a wood stove or fireplace
  • be familiar with your service panel location

Power Generator Safety Tips

 Independence Power & Light provides safe, reliable electricity to the homes
and businesses in the City of Independence. Sometimes circumstances beyond our control,
such as storms, interrupt the electric supply, resulting in outages. Most outages
are short in duration, but if you have equipment or appliances in your home that
you feel must have a back up power source, and you are considering the purchase
of a generator, please take a few moments to consider the following issues.

Before Purchasing a Generator

  • Choose the appliances or equipment you want powered by the generator. Determine the total wattage required to operate that equipment.
  • Choose a generator that will meet your wattage requirements.
  • Find a safe place outdoors to operate the generator. It is very important that you provide proper ventilation for the generator.

Installing Generators

If you decide to use a back-up generator, you must connect it in an approved manner.  Distributing electricity safely is a complicated process. Electric utility companies have detailed operating procedures that protect against electricity surging or backfeeding into the distribution system.  If you decide to install a generator, please contact a certified electrician. 


If not properly installed, generators can backfeed electricity into the utility distribution system, causing equipment damage and endangering the lives of utility line crews, who are working on power lines.

Before installing a generator, you will need to decide how the electricity will be distributed to the equipment in your home.

There are two choices:

1. Equipment connected to the generator.

IPL recommends that you unplug the appliance from the outlet in the house and plug it directly into a power cord that runs to the generator, which should be located outside. This way you can easily control overloading the generator and eliminate the possibility of backfeeding into the utility's distribution system.

2. Generator connected to the electric panel.

Connecting a generator to your home's electrical panel is not a do-it-yourself job. It requires a certified electrician to install a transfer switch between the house breaker panel and the point that electricity is delivered to the home. This requires coordination with IPL, who will disconnect the electric service during the installation of the transfer switch.

It is neither safe nor acceptable under IPL's Service Policy to simply throw the main breaker when using a generator connected to the panel.

For a more detailed explanation, please review the IPL Service Policy regarding the installation of generators.

Click here to go to IPL's Service Policy (PDF)


Important Generator Safety Tips

  • Never plug a generator directly into an electrical panel without a properly installed transfer switch.
  • Hire a certified electrician to install the transfer switch.
  • Always disconnect from the utility system before starting a generator connected to an electrical panel.
  • Follow all of the manufacturer's instructions for operating your generator.
  • Store fuel in approved containers, in a safe place, out of the reach of children.
  • Never run a generator inside a building. Always make sure there is proper ventilation for the generator.
  • Follow all national, state, county and city fire and electric codes.
  • Do not remove any safety devices from the generator.
  • Replace any power cord that is frayed or has exposed wires.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near the generator.


For more information about the safe use and installation of generators, refer to the current electrical code or contact IPL at (816) 325-7492.


Power Restoration... How IPL Handles

When an outage occurs, IPL first must determine how widespread an area is being
affected. If only a small area is affected, crews are dispatched to search for and
correct the immediate cause, such as tree limbs hitting against a distribution power

If the outage is widespread, IPL first begins by checking substations, then major distribution lines or circuits, then neighborhoods and finally individual lines to customers. Customers should not be discouraged if they see an IPL truck passing by their home during a major outage. More than likely the crew is searching for the problem along a major line, that when corrected, will restore power to the entire neighborhood. Until those lines are restored, it is nearly impossible to identify problems for individual customers.

The best way for customers to help get their power back on during an outage is to call the IPL outage number (816) 325-7550.

During major outages, the information customers enter through the automated system, helps IPL to locate the cause of the outage and restore power as quickly as possible.

In tracking outages, it is important that we have customers' correct phone numbers. If your phone number has changed, but not your address, please go online or call Customer Service at (816) 325-7930 and help us to keep our records updated, in order to better serve you during outages.


power outage downed tree



Reliable help with our Automated Phone System

Although IPL would prefer to always give customers the opportunity to talk to a "real person", widespread outages sometimes make that impossible. In the case of outages affecting large numbers of customers, Independence Power & Light initiates an automated "high volume" phone system. This system allows IPL to take all incoming outage calls without putting customers on hold.

To Report an Outage Call (816) 325-7550

When you reach our automated system, please stay on the line and follow the instructions for reporting the outage.

IPL uses a computer system to track and locate outages, by using the phone number reported as the location of the outage. In order to identify the address for the location of your outage, we must have your current phone number for the location, and it must match to the phone number listed in our customer billing information system for that address.

If your phone number has changed, please take a moment to go to Utilities Online to verify that we have your current phone number or call customer service at (816) 325-7930.

Thank you for helping us to serve you better!

Critical Care Program . . helps us better serve our customers

IPL's Critical Care Program helps us to better serve our customers who need to use electricity-powered medical equipment.

IPL notifies Critical Care Customers in advance when outages are scheduled for maintenance and repair of utility equipment. During unexpected outages, Critical Care customers can expect priority in power restoration, only after IPL has restored power to main lines and equipment.

To be eligible for the Critical Care program, customers must submit an application form, with a medical doctor's recommendation and signature, to IPL.  The program does not guarantee continuous service, but it does prioritize power restoration.  We recommend you have a backup power source for your equipment in the event of a power outage.

Please print the critical care form, fill out the upper portion of the form, and have your physician fill out and sign the bottom half of the form. Mail the form to:

Independence Power & Light

Critical Care Program
P.O. Box 1019
Independence, MO 64051-0519

IPL will notify you by mail if you qualify for the Critical Care program. Critical Care customers will receive a renewal application once a year, which must be completed and returned to IPL within 30 days of the postmark.

IPL's Critical Care Program does not guarantee continuous electrical service!

Customers requiring continuous electrical service should make arrangements for backup electrical service, in the case of unexpected outages.

For more information about the Critical Care Program, call (816) 325-7930 or contact us by email.