Houston County Electric Co-op works hard to deliver safe, reliable electric service; sometimes, however, even the best systems can be affected by the elements. Storms can damage lines, cars sometimes hit poles, and the curiosity of a small animal can cause an entire neighborhood to lose power. Here is a simple checklist that may help if the lights go out at your house.
Who do you call? The Cooperative prides itself on its quality of service and quick response in the event of a power outage. To report an outage, contact the Cooperative:
** You may now report your power outage online
and view current reported outages using our
Online Outage & Information Tool!**
Is the problem in your home? An adult needs to check the fuse or circuit breaker panel to see if the problem is confined inside the house. Be sure to check the main breaker, for most homes it is located outside near the electric meter.
Will looking at the meter help? YES. If the fuses and circuit breakers appear to be OK, look at the lower left side of the electric meter (see Finding My Meter and Number). If the little red light is still on inside the electric meter, the problem is somewhere in your wiring. Call HCEC if you don’t see a light as this indicates there is no power to the meter.
Is your neighbor out too? If you believe the problem is on HCEC’s lines, it is a good idea to check with a neighbor to see if they have power. Letting us know if your neighbor is also without power helps the Cooperative pinpoint the problem more quickly.
Does HCEC know when there is an outage? Sometimes – HCEC has advanced system-monitoring capabilities in all its substations, but this system cannot identify every problem. HCEC wants you to call when power to the meter is interrupted. You may have information the Co-op needs to know in order to respond properly to an outage.
What does HCEC need to know about your outage? You need to be ready to tell HCEC:
Are there things I need to do around my house when there is an outage? YES, there are a number of things you can do during a power outage to help protect your property from damage see our power outage tips to learn what you should do if the lights go out and the interruption is on HCEC's system.
Downed power lines are extremely dangerous! If you see downed wires consider them “hot” – this is an emergency situation – DO NOT go near them and contact HCEC immediately or law enforcement.
Portable generators can be dangerous too. Never hook a portable generator directly into house wiring during an outage. For information on how to safely connect a portable generator, contact HCEC.
See also power line safety
Food Safety: If you are in an area that experienced an outage that lasted more than four hours you should take a look at the Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency section on the US Department of Agriculture website.
Last Modified: April 2, 2012
HCEC, PO Box 52 - Loop 304 SE, Crockett, TX 75835, 1-800-657-2445
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