Why Is My Power Out?

Our agents probably won't know

We understand customers' curiosity about outage causes.

When you call to report your outage, our agents are unlikely to have that information. But your report will be submitted to our crews. They'll find out so they can do their jobs.

Our automated phone system and agents will advise you to check your breakers before reporting an outage; this is a common cause of power loss unrelated to TNMP equipment.

Most common causes

Outages affecting our equipment often are caused by the following (although there are many other possible causes that aren't as likely):

  • Weather: Particularly wind and lightning.
  • Wildlife: We try to prevent access, but squirrels, birds and other animals can be persistent.
  • Trees: We have an active tree-trimming program, but vegetation also can be persistent.
  • Car accidents: Our work can begin when first responders' work is completed.
  • Equipment issues: We routinely inspect equipment, but not all failures can be prevented.

Crews will respond

Causes are identified by crews patrolling in the field. They then focus on gathering materials and safely making repairs to restore power.

You might not see our crews and trucks. Where they need to work to restore your power could be miles away.

When will my power be back on?

This is the most-asked question, of course.

Most, but not all, outages are restored within two hours. They can be longer, particularly after widespread thunderstorms or other heavy weather.

Our automated phone system provides our best available estimates for when power will be restored to reported outages. All estimates are subject to change.

Is this a planned outage?

Probably not; we perform a small number of planned outages.

  • With large planned outages affecting hundreds or thousands of customers, we typically announce plans via social media, news media and coordination with local officials, including public safety agencies.
  • With planned outages affecting small numbers of customers, we typically distribute information via door-hangers, in advance, to premises that will be out.

Is this an outage ordered by ERCOT?

That's not impossible, of course, but it's unlikely. 

Controlled, rotating power outages (so-called “rolling blackouts”) have been ordered across ERCOT four times from 1989-2021, all between the months of December and April.

Controlled outages ordered by ERCOT would be expected to include public information available via news media, including established outlets in large metro areas (Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, et al).