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The season of storms and extreme temperatures is coming, and with that being said, many of us could suffer from power outages at home. It is important to understand that if the power outage is in the area, your electricity company will not be able to do anything about it, there is no point in calling them and asking.
Telephone numbers and websites to report an outage by areas in Texas
Oncor, Dallas/Fort Worth: 1-888-313-4747
Centerpoint, Houston: 1-800-332-7143
AEP Central and AEP North, South Texas / The Valley: 1-866-223-8508
TNMP (Texas New Mexico Power): 1-888-866-7456
*If you live out of these areas, you can call your local co-op.
No one likes to be without power. These days we are so dependent on electricity that it is very annoying when we run out of power at home. First of all, you have to see if the problem is in your house or in the whole area.
Reasons why the utility may cut off electricity
Maintenance of lines, transformers, cables, poles, etc.
Manipulation of the light meter. The meter was hit or an attempt was made to move it.
An inspection is required (usually for mobile homes).
A lock or "Switch Hold" was requested by a light company.
Electricity meters are sensitive and belong to the utilities. These can be analog and AMS (Smart Meter). The AMS is constantly signaling the utility with the energy usage reading, approximately every 30 seconds. That being said, if the meter has been tampered, bumped, moved, or is not able to send a signal to the utility, the utility will notice and stop sending electricity. This is for security reasons. An inspector will be sent to check that everything is in condition to reactivate the flow of electricity. An inspection can take 2-3 days.
The "Switch Hold" or lock on the meter is somewhat complicated to solve. They are normally required by the electricity company and applied by the utility. The switch holds are to prevent an electricity customer from changing electricity companies until they pay the outstanding bills to the said electricity company. If the electricity customer has just moved to that address, they can request to remove the switch hold by proving that they are a new resident at that address and that they are not related to the person responsible for the pending bills to be paid to the electricity company that had the service previously. You can read more about switch holds in this blog, or if you like watch this video:
Note, if the power outage was overnight, it is the utility or utility company responsible for this, not your electric company.
What to do in the event of a blackout or power outage
1. See if the power outage is just in your house or in the whole area.
It is not difficult to see if your neighbors have electricity or not. Go outside and see if any of the neighboring houses left their entrance light on. Many of us leave the light at the entrance of the house on all night. Likewise, many of us forget to turn it off in the morning. (See below for my advice on this.)
If you can't tell if your neighbors have electricity or not, go knock on one of their doors. The most certain thing is that they are also in doubt.
In the event that the problem is in the area, there is not much to do but call the public services and wait. The telephone numbers are at the top of this article.
2. If the outage is only in your home, do this before calling your power company.
Check the fuse and breaker box. That they are not thrown away or melted.
Reset the breakers, one by one. This is changing their position and leaving them on.
If this doesn't fix the problem, then it's time to call your power company.
Reasons why an electricity company can cut off power
Switch Hold or lock on the meter
In this blog, you can see more details and how to be prepared in case of a blackout.
Home energy-saving tip, change to timers on your light switches or you can change them to smart switches that connect to your home Wi-Fi and you can control them from your cell phone.