How We Restore Power

Austin Energy Staff Stay Ready 24/7

Austin Energy has crews on standby 24/7 to respond immediately to power outages, and we repair most routine outages within a short period of time. 

Our lineworkers are well-trained and highly skilled. In fact, they’re some of the best in Texas, ready to serve the community whenever they are needed.

It’s Not Just a Flip of a Switch

Each power outage is a complex event. Crews often work through challenging conditions such as darkness, wind, rain, and flooding to locate, assess, coordinate, repair, and restore each outage they come across. 

Watch our video How We Restore Power to learn more about the potential causes of power outages and the steps we take to safely restore power.

Illustration of how we restore power

How We Restore Power

  1. Our first priority is to repair the transmission lines. Until this repair is made, power to your home cannot be restored.
  2. Repair substation equipment. This may include damaged transformers or malfunctioning circuit breakers.
  3. Fix the main distribution lines which carries power from the substation to an overhead (A) or underground (B) transformer near your home. These repairs may include addressing broken poles, bad transformers, open fuses and switches.
  4. Check the service line (C) that carries power from the transformer to your electric meter.

Restoring power in this order can mean that some homes may have power restored while others around them have not.

Download How We Restore Power (pdf)

Multiple Crews Work to Repair Major Outages

During severe weather like major thunderstorms and freezing rain, it is not uncommon to have widespread power outages and several hundred repair locations. Austin Energy sends multiple crews out to make repairs, but the crews must drive to each location to work as safely, quickly, and efficiently as possible. We place the highest priority on the safety of our crews and our customers, and it can take multiple hours or even days to restore power to all customers.

We Provide an Estimated Time of Restoration 

Once Austin Energy fully assesses the outage, we provide an estimated time of restoration. Outage conditions are posted on the Austin Energy Outage Map. Customers signed up to receive Outage Alerts will have updates texted to them via their mobile device. 

During a large or complex outage event, Austin Energy may suspend providing an estimated time of restoration until damage can be safely assessed.

The Estimated Time of Restoration Can Change

As the situation evolves and the extent of the damage becomes clearer, the estimated time of power restoration can change. We make every effort to arrive at a realistic estimated restoration time based on the availability of our lineworkers, the extent of the damage, and the safety of our employees and customers.

If you have more questions, we may have them covered on our FAQ page.

Learn More

Date last reviewed or modified: 05/31/2023