English is a second language for me. If I translate literally from my native language, I'll say, "The electricity has gone." and "The electricity has come".

For the first sentence, we say things like

  • The power is out.
  • The electricity went out.
  • We just experienced a power outage.

What is the correct way to express what I am trying to express the second sentence?

  • 6
    I'd normally say The power is out, hopefully followed by The power is back on (BrE). Aug 26 '15 at 20:01
  • 3
    PG&E, the utility that provides electricity in the San Francisco Bay Area, always announces after a blackout that "Service has been restored to the affected areas." But users usually say something along the lines of "Power's back on" or "The electricity is working again."
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 26 '15 at 20:46
  • @SvenYargs Actually it's funny, we have a regular load-shedding of electricity here, so "has been restored" does not seem suitable in this situation, because it was some unexpected situation and now the problem has been fixed (by somebody), while here it is a schedule of load-shedding. So the power goes out every alternate hour and that is scheduled.
    – Solace
    Aug 26 '15 at 20:52
  • 1
    @Solace: If I recall correctly, PG&E used the same wording during the period of 2000–2001 when our area was subjected to planned "rolling blackouts" due to "excessive demand" that turned out to be a criminal gaming of the power grid by Enron. For the most part, however, in California and in much of the rest of the United States, scheduled power outages are an anomaly.
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 26 '15 at 21:00

In Britain we could say,

The power/electricity is back on.

  • 4
    Or, leaving out the last word, just “Power’s back!” Aug 26 '15 at 20:03
  • 4
    In Ireland, news bulletins would use the phrase "power has been restored". Informally, people would usually say "the power is back (on)".
    – Baz
    Aug 26 '15 at 21:01
  • 1
    I've also heard "has come back on".
    – Cat
    Aug 26 '15 at 23:59
  • 1
    That works in the U.S. too.
    – David K
    Aug 27 '15 at 1:50
  • Reconnected would be a one word solution I suppose but it would be a bit ambiguous Jul 18 '16 at 17:18

We (folks in California) sometimes say "Power has been restored."

  • 1
    Hello, bcamero, and welcome to English Language & Usage. Although this response has earned six upvotes, it is an extremely skeletal answer. You could make it stronger—and perhaps attract even more upvotes—by indicating what part of the English-speaking world you're talking about when you say "we." Part of the underlying issue for the questioner, I think, is that there may be different standard ways of saying "It's back" in different locales. Thanks.
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 27 '15 at 5:30

I have quite often heard the following:

  • Power is back
  • Power is back on
  • Power has returned
  • Power is up, along with the corresponding “power is down” when the electricity supply is interrupted
  • Power is back up
  • More formally, in the news or so; Power has been restored (to the affected areas)

In my experience, the word power is used much more often than electricity when referring to the stuff coming out of a (ahem) power socket, even though, strictly speaking, it is a less accurate term.


Down vs Operational


Power is down on the entire peninsula.


Repairs were completed overnight; power is operational.


On/Off-line and "knocked out"


The emergency generator will compensate locally while the mains are still offline.


The storm knocked out phone, cable, water, sewage, gas, and power, and it would be weeks before utilities were back online.


Dark vs. Live

Sometimes screenwriters will have characters referring to remote installations using military-sounding jargon, such as Paris is dark vs New York is live --beyond describing broadcast or communication ability, could also indicate whether site has power.

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