Studies show that Texas has the most major power outages of any state in the U.S. The massive Lone Star State is the only one in the continental U.S. that runs on its own power grid, which comes with its pros and cons (including more frequent outages).
If you’re experiencing a power outage in Texas, there are steps you can take to ensure it’s reported and resolved quickly. Read on to learn how to report a power outage in your area of Texas and how to stay updated on the utility company’s progress.
You may also want to utilize other resources, like registering for outage alerts or applying to have your power supply prioritized for critical medical care or essential work.
- Power outages in Texas are handled by transmission and distribution utility companies (TDUs). Five major TDUs serve each corresponding geographical area of Texas.
- If you’re experiencing a power outage, call your local TDU or report details of the outage online.
- TDUs also offer additional resources online, like outage maps, text alerts, and the ability to apply to have your power prioritized as a critical care customer or business.
Who Can Fix a Power Outage in Texas?
If you’re experiencing a power outage or brownout in Texas, you might be at a loss for which company to call. Power outages are inconvenient at best and terrifying at worst, leaving your family without heat, air conditioning, the ability to cook and store food, and the ability to charge essential devices.
The first step to ensuring the power outage in your area is swiftly fixed is contacting your local transmission and distribution utility (TDU) company to report the outage. Five TDUs serve their corresponding areas of Texas, and are responsible for keeping the lights on (this often includes maintaining transformers and power lines and even pruning trees that may interfere with power lines).
You can report power outages and related events, like streetlight outages and downed power lines, to your local TDU and they will send technicians to the area to help as soon as possible. (Be sure to stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines, and report them to 911 as well.) TDUs also often have a hotline you can call to hear live updates.
Utility Companies for Your Area
Below is a list of utility companies for each major service area of Texas. If you’re experiencing a power outage, contact your area’s utility provider using the contact information listed below.
|Utility Provider||Areas||Website||Phone Number|
|Oncor||Dallas, Fort Worth||Website link||(888) 313-4747|
|AEP North||Abilene, San Angelo, Vernon||Website link||(866) 223-8508|
|AEP Central||Corpus Christi, McCallen, Victoria, Laredo||Website link||(866) 223-8508|
|Centerpoint||Houston||Website link||(713) 207-2222 or (800) 332-7143|
|TNMP||Whitney, Emory, Graham||Website link||(888) 866-7456 (select option 1)|
Each TDU handles outages differently and offers different resources to the residents it serves. Read on to learn how your local TDU can serve you during an outage.
ONCOR offers an online Outage Reporting System, with which you can either report an outage and file a service request or check on the status of power restoration.
You may also register as a chronic condition or critical care customer (if you have a medical condition that requires life-sustaining assistance from an electricity-dependent device), or as a critical load public safety or industrial customer, meaning that your power supply will be prioritized.
During major storms, it’s only necessary to report major safety hazards like downed power lines or sparking equipment–AEP is likely already on the scene. While customer service representatives are likely busy, you can still leave a message that will be relayed to operations personnel who will prioritize safety hazards.
You can use Centerpoint’s online Outage Tracker to see the affected areas on a map, or sign up for their Power Alert Service. Centerpoint also offers a Storm Center with updates on the weather and safety tips according to the type of storm you’re experiencing.
Be sure to report any downed power lines to Centerpoint’s hotline at (713) 207-2222 as well (also call 911 and stay at least 35 feet away).
TNMP offers a detailed power outage map that will display the number of customers currently affected in real time. You can also register for outage notifications. When you call TNMP’s phone number to report an outage (or to report streetlight outages and other related issues), TNMP agents likely won’t know what caused your particular outage yet, but your report will be relayed to TNMP crews who will use the details you’ve provided to find out.
Calling the TNMP automated phone line is your best bet for securing an estimate on when your power will return. TNMP performs a small number of planned outages, but if one is scheduled in your area, you’ll be notified via a notice hanging on your front door knob. TNMP also allows you to apply to be a critical care customer or business, meaning your power supply will be prioritized.