Outage Alert Help FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Austin Energy's Text Messaging System

The following information addresses how to sign up for and use Outage Alerts, and how we restore power.

  • What are Outages Alerts?

    With Austin Energy Outage Alerts, you can use your mobile phone to send and receive text messages about power outages.

  • Can I sign up for the outage alert service without having a power outage?

    Yes. You can sign up for Outage Alerts at any time.

    Learn how to be prepared for outages before they occur

  • What information do I need before I can sign up for Outage Alerts?

    Your 10-digit City of Austin Utilities account number OR the phone number associated with your account, and the ZIP code of the service address.  You can find the account number on your paper bill or on your eBill, or through City of Austin Utilities Online Customer Care. Include any leading or trailing zeros.


  • How can I find my account number if my lights are off and my computer and wireless router have no power?
    • Paper Bill — If you have a paper bill, and can locate it with a flashlight, the account number is located on the upper right-hand side. Include leading or trailing zeros.
    • eBill — If you receive an eBill through your email account, and you can access email on your mobile phone, you can locate the account number on the eBill. Include leading or trailing zeros.
    • Phone Number on the Account — You can also report an outage without your account number by giving Austin Energy the phone number associated with your account, along with your ZIP code.
  • How do I use outage alerts?

    The Outage Alert system recognizes simple text messages like:

    • “Register me for outage alerts”
    • “My power is out”
    • “When will my power be back on?”

    You may use also use the following text message codes to communicate with Austin Energy during a power outage: 

    SMS Text Messaging Codes
    Description English (full) English (short) Español
    Register for Outage Alerts REGISTER REG RGS
    Report a power outage OUTAGE OUT APAGON
    Check power restoration status STATUS STAT ESTADO
    Temporarily stop receiving Outage Alerts PAUSE PAU INTERRUMPIR
    Resume receiving Outage Alerts RESUME RES CONTINUAR
    Cancel Outage Alerts STOP STOP ALTO
    Get help with Outage Alerts HELP HELP AYUDA
  • Should I use the outage alert service to report street lights being out?

    No, Outage Alerts are for residential and commercial power outages only.

    To report a street light out, call 3-1-1. You can also report it using the 3-1-1 online service request or download the 3-1-1 mobile app.

  • Why did I receive a text message telling me that my power has been restored? My power is still out.

    If power around you has been restored but yours is still out, you may have a nested outage — more than one issue leading to your power loss. Austin Energy may not be aware of this secondary outage, so please report it by texting OUT to 287846.

  • I'm already signed up for Outage Alerts. My power came back on briefly and then went out again. Should I text OUT again?

    Yes.  If your lights come on but then go back out, text OUT to 287846.

    Sí. Envíe APAGON por mensaje de texto a 287846 para reportar un apagón.​

  • Can I report a power outage by dialing 9-1-1?

    No.  Call 9-1-1 only for emergencies.

  • If I sign up for outage alert updates, may I still call the outage phone number?

    Yes. Even if you have signed up for Outage Alerts, you can always report an outage by calling 512-322-9100.

  • What is the difference between the outage alert system and Online Customer Care?

    Austin Energy Outage Alerts is a power outage notification system for City of Austin electric customers. It uses utility account numbers stored in the City of Austin Online Customer Care system, which serves all City utilities. When you register with Online Customer Care, you can:

    • Pay your bill securely
    • Manage your utility services
    • View eBills
    • Track your utility usage
    • Set or change your power outage alert preferences

    To receive outage notifications via text messaging, you must register with Austin Energy Outage Alerts.

    If you are a registered utility customer, you can change your alert preferences in the City of Austin Online Customer Care system.

    Register or Login with Online Customer Care

  • How can I sign up for alerts if I have more than five accounts?

    If you have more than five Austin Energy electric service accounts, you need to call 512-494-9400 and a representative will help you.

  • Why is it taking so long to restore power?

    Restoring power requires several steps, and sometimes several crews are needed to restore power safely.

    Learn how we restore power

  • I'm trying to report an outage, but keep getting error messages. What do they mean?

    Here are some common error messages you might see when reporting an outage using the Outage Alert system:

    Common Errors When Reporting an Outage
    Error Description Error Message Displayed
    Invalid postal code and account number combination ZIP code and account number combination is not valid. Please try again using service address info. You can also call 512-322-9100 to report your outage or to inquire about your outage status. 
    Invalid postal code and phone number combination ZIP code and phone number combination is not valid. Please try again using service address info. You can also call 512-322-9100 to report your outage or to inquire about your outage status.
    The server is undergoing maintenance  The system is not available at this time due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please call 512-322-9100 to report your outage.
    The requested account number is not formatted properly  The account number entered is not valid. Please check the number and try again. You may also call 512-322-9100 to report your outage.
    The requested phone number is associated with too many accounts An error occurred while processing your request. Please call 512-322-9100 to report your outage or inquire about your outage status.


    Having trouble or need help?

    • Call 512-322-9100 to report an outage.
    • Call 512-494-9400 for help with your utility account.
  • Why am I seeing an error message when I try to register for alerts or report an outage online for new or transferred electric service?

    Whether you are new to Austin Energy or transferring service to a different address, you can sign up to Get Outage Alerts after the start-of-service date.

  • I am a City of Austin Utilities customer, but I get electric service from a different provider. Can I report my power outage online and sign up for text alerts?

    No. If your City of Austin utilities account does not include electric service, please contact your electric service provider.

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Date last reviewed or modified: 06/30/2022