It’s happened to us all before. You’re in the middle of cooking or watching your favorite television show and BAM – the power goes out.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important that you report a power outage through the right channel?

Only the Electric Delivery Company that Maintains Your Power Lines can Fix the Outage

NEC Retail Electricity supplies you with power, but it’s companies like AEP, Oncor, and CenterPoint that maintain the power lines. Since they are the ones who find the reason for the power outage and fix it, they are the ones who need to know about such outages as promptly as possible. Basically, the sooner you can alert those who maintain your lines, the sooner they can get to your location and address the issue. NEC Retail Electricity does not maintain any power lines.

Reporting an Outage

Before you call about an outage, see if your neighbor’s electricity is also out. Do this so you can be sure that it’s really a power outage and not just an individual case. Then grab your electricity bill to have your ESI ID handy. The next step is to take another look outside and see if there is any visible damage to report. Lastly, call the right phone number and report the outage. You can find the right number on our Report an Outage webpage. The phone numbers are organized based on the companies that maintain the power lines and delivery system.

Reasons Power Outages Occur

Trees

Often people will associate power failure with the contact of a broken tree. To help prevent this, always make sure that larger trees are planted on your property are far away from the power lines. If a tree is growing into the path of power lines, do not attempt to trim them. Call your power line delivery company and they will send someone over to safely trim the tree away from the energized power lines.

Equipment Failure

It can be due to an equipment failure, which means that the electrical equipment is not performing correctly. This can happen due to the fact that the electrical equipment can be weakened by lightning strikes, temporary faults, or even normal wear and tear.

Wildlife

Wildlife can cause a failure of the power lines as well – meaning a snake, squirrel or a bird might come in contact with the equipment which can lead to a momentary failure. If the system detects that contact persists, a breaker will open to isolate the problem. This way, as few consumers as possible will experience the outage.

Weather

The weather often plays an important role in power reliability. Erratic and extreme weather like lightning, high winds, hurricanes and tornados can cause power interruptions. Storms can damage delivery system equipment or cause trees and brush to fall onto power lines. The result of this can be in the form of power blinks or an extended outage, depending on the severity of the damage.