Even with Tampa Electric’s 99.9 percent power reliability, unexpected factors occasionally make the lights go out for people the company serves. But Tampa Electric’s new Power Updates leave no customers in the dark about the status of their service as team members work urgently to restore it.
Sign up for Power Updates easily and for free at tampaelectric.com/outages. Once registered, you can choose how you want Tampa Electric to let you know the status of your power – by text, email and/or telephone. And, whether you’ve created a Power Updates profile or not, you can report power outages online or by texting OUT to 35069 along with your Tampa Electric customer account number.
“We’re excited to provide Power Updates as a new tool that gets to the heart of the relationship between Tampa Electric and our customers,” said Bruce Narzissenfeld, vice president of Marketing, Customer Service, Business Development and Fuels Operations. “We know from surveys that customers want options when communicating with us. Today, many people are only using mobile devices, and Power Updates really targets these customers.”
Power Updates launched June 1, in time for hurricane season. The new service complements Tampa Electric’s $40 million annual 10-point plan to harden its system against severe weather.
Tampa Electric is notifying customers about its Power Updates with a recent insert in their monthly bills. The insert features a breakdown of the typical causes of power outages. These include natural occurrences such as lightning, tree limbs and animals coming in contact with electrical infrastructure (59 percent); equipment trouble and human interference (32 percent) and scheduled maintenance and other factors (9 percent).
“Our team members work hard, around the clock and year-round, to make sure the power is there for the communities we serve,” said Karen Lewis, director of Customer Service. “While we can’t guarantee our customers 100 percent reliability, we feel Power Updates is the next best thing – communication and reassurance that a customer’s situation is important to us.”
In addition to Power Updates, customers can find up-to-date information about power outages on Tampa Electric’s recently enhanced Outage Map. Updated every 10 minutes, the map displays the outage cause and restoration status in addition to the number of customers affected and estimated restoration time.
According to Debbie Fagan, project analyst with Customer Service Business Systems and Power Updates Project business lead, more than 500 customer account holders have registered for Power Updates since June 1.
“When the power is out, customers are finding us and signing up,” Fagan said. “By far, customers are reporting outages by texting us. And that’s how they want us to communicate with them.”