Q:

How does a power outage alert work?

A:

Quick Answer

Power outage alerts are a service provided by some utility companies, allowing consumer to sign up for the alert service and, in the event of an outage, receive a text message, email or phone call with detailed information about the problem. The alerts also include notices of the anticipated solutions.

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Full Answer

Center Point Energy is one provider that offers power outage alert service at no cost. The purpose of the service is to keep consumers from jamming the company switchboard in the event of an outage, by letting them know that the company is already aware of the outage and is working to address it.

Power outage alerts contain an estimated time frame for solving the problem and, in some cases, an estimate of how many customers have an outage as a result. As work crews make progress with the outage, the company sends out status updates letting customers know that a solution is near. As the estimated time of repair changes, the company sends out additional alerts. When the power is back on, another alert comes out identifying the initial cause and notifying that the problem is resolved. For those who decide they no longer want alert service, the companies offer an opt-out choice. Some companies follow up the resolution process with a customer survey.

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