How We Restore Power
The Importance of Reporting
When a power outage occurs at your
home or business, visit the Austin Energy Storm Center and select either Check Outage or Report Outage from the upper right of the page, or call Austin Energy’s automated
reporting system at (512) 322-9100.
It is important that every customer experiencing
an outage call in. Your outage may be unrelated to your neighbor’s
outage or other customers on the street.
For example, each transformer on a power
pole serves five or six homes. This could mean a small group
of homes could experience an outage while homes further down
the street may still have power. Each customer call helps
us better pinpoint the location of the specific equipment
or power line causing the problem.
We repair most small, routine outages
within an hour. Ten crews are on standby 24 hours a day, seven
days a week to immediately respond to outages.
Major power outages caused by storms or
freezing rain may require more crews. It may take up to 30
repair crews multiple hours to restore power to all customers.
The crews must drive to each location that
needs repairs. During a major storm, it is not uncommon to
have several hundred repair locations.
Why Outages Occur
Fuses protect every power line and
major piece of equipment in the electric system. When a power
line overloads due to a lightning strike or a fallen tree
limb, fuses blow and an outage occurs.
The fuses protect power lines and equipment
from overload. Without this protection lines and equipment
could burn up, requiring more costly and time consuming repairs
Austin Energy has a computerized outage
management system to efficiently pinpoint and dispatch crews.
Once fully implemented, this system will generate an estimated
repair time for each outage during major storms.
Providing Updates to the Public
When major outages occur, Austin Energy
provides periodic updates to the media and posts information to the Austin
Energy Web site home page. The updates include the cause of outages
and areas of our service area most affected.