Service FAQs

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Power Restoration
Q.
What happens after a customer reports an outage?
A.

Each call will have a work order generated. The orders are sent to our outage management system for analysis to determine the most likely cause of the outage. Orders are then dispatched to troubleshooters who go to the locations of the outages to assess the problem. If the troubleshooters cannot repair the problem, then a line crew will be called out to make repairs.

Q.
After the priority customers are restored, how does OG&E decide whose power to restore next and in what order?
A.

Our strategy is to do whatever it takes to bring the most customers' power back on the fastest. If we have a choice of sending crews to do work that will restore power to 1,000 customers or send them to do work that will restore 10, the decision is simple. Work the 1,000 first.

Q.
Why do some customers have power and their neighbors don’t?
A.

They could be on different circuits, transformers or fuses. This is common. Not all houses in a neighborhood are necessarily on the same service lines.

Q.
Does OG&E know which customers are without power?
A.

Not necessarily. That’s why customers should call OG&E Customer Service at 800-522-6870 to report an outage. This helps us analyze the problem and restore power more rapidly.

Q.
What do I do to report my outage or a downed power line?
A.

You can report outages and other emergencies by calling our emergency line at 405-272-9595 (inside the metro Oklahoma City area) or 800-522-6870 (outside the Oklahoma City metro area). You can also report it online.

Q.
Why do I sometimes talk to an automated system when I report my outage?
A.

During large outages and after our Customer Service business hours, we use an automated system to manage calls. The information we get from the calls helps us to restore power faster. During high volume times, such as major storms, it reduces the number of customers who experience busy signals when they call or the amount of time they are asked to stay on hold.

Q.
How does OG&E handle increased calls during major outages?
A.

Our entire staff of customer service representatives is on-call during large outages of extended duration. Due to increased call volume during major storms, we also activate our automated answering system. The system prompts customers to enter their telephone number or account number to report an outage.

Q.
Why is it hard for OG&E to say how long it will take to get power restored?
A.

A lot of things affect how quickly we can restore power.  Weather conditions, accessibility to damaged areas, the time of day, safety and environmental issues all impact how quickly we can work. Following large storms, these and many other factors can affect the restoration process, which greatly complicates our ability to predict restoration times.  

 

Q.
Why do I see OG&E vehicles leave my neighborhood without restoring service to the area?
A.

To get the power back on following major outages, OG&E’s first responsibility is to clear and secure all known hazards such as downed poles and energized lines that may have fallen across streets and roadways. Do not attempt to stop an OG&E vehicle to report an outage. It will only delay them in getting to their assigned work orders.

 

Q.
Who fixes service connections to my house if they are damaged?
A.

The wire that runs from the utility pole to your house and the meter itself are OG&E’s responsibility. You own the cable that runs down the side of your house and the box that holds the meter, so repairs to these items are your responsibility. You can have an electrician repair any damage to the service cable running down the side of your house and the meter socket. This will help ensure your power can be restored quickly after a major storm.

Q.
What if someone in the home has special medical problems or is on life-sustaining medical equipment?
A.

In an emergency situation call 911. Then, notify an OG&E customer service representative. Always have a back-up plan in case the damage is so severe that it could take a while to repair.

Q.
What safety precautions should be followed when using a portable generator during an outage?
A.

Improper use of portable generators can be dangerous and even deadly. Two primary hazards associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine exhaust and electrocution from connecting the generator to the home electrical wiring system. Observe the following safety tips when using a portable generator:

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of a portable generator.
  • Operate the generator outdoors to avoid deadly fumes.
  • Plug appliances directly into the portable generator or have it properly attached to your home’s wiring by a qualified electrician.
  • Never connect a portable generator to your home’s main electrical panel or plug it into an electrical outlet.
  • Select the appropriate generator for your needs. Determine how many appliances are going to run at the same time and select a generator based on the total wattage that will be used.

Common Problems
Q.
Why do my lights, computers and clocks blink sometimes?
A.

“Blinks” are split-second interruptions in service. While they may be annoying, they serve an important purpose. For example, when a tree limb falls on a wire, automatic sensing equipment detects a potentially dangerous condition and temporarily breaks the circuit for a split-second. This very brief break in the flow of electricity protects essential parts of the electric delivery system from major damage and actually helps prevent outages. They are a normal part of power delivery systems. They used to go unnoticed, but today’s sophisticated computers and other electronic equipment are sensitive and can be affected by a momentary interruption that lasts only a fraction of a second.

Q.
What causes my lights to go dim unexpectedly?
A.

The utility system is exposed and vulnerable to many types of undesirable electrical contacts: severe weather (lightning, ice and high winds), tree limbs, vehicle accidents and wildlife. These events can cause a ‘short-circuit’ on the system, which pulls the system voltage down slightly. The lower voltage is most easily observed by a dim in your lighting. Most of these voltage drops last only a fraction of a second because automated equipment designed into the utility system quickly disconnects power on the circuit where the contact occurred. After a short delay, the circuit is automatically restored. The momentary dimming of the lights is a sign that the utility system responded to a problem, perhaps many miles away, and operated as designed.  But if this condition persists for extended periods of time, you should report it to OG&E to ensure there is not a permanent type of problem on your electrical service.

 

Q.
What is “partial power”?
A.

If you have power in one part of the house but not another, or if your 240 volt appliances (air conditioner, clothes washer, etc.) do not work but you still have some lighting, it is likely a ‘partial power’ condition. 

OG&E serves most residential customers with 120 volts on two separate wires in order to have 240 volts for heavy appliances such as air conditioning and clothes dryers. The two 120 volt circuits also serve different outlets in your home. The problem could be in your home’s electrical system, so first check to see if you have a tripped circuit breaker. If not,  report the issue to OG&E. We will make sure that both lines of 120 volts are present at your meter.

Larger facilities use what is called ‘three-phase’ power. If any single phase experiences an outage, that would create a partial power condition for those facilities.

 

Q.
What are common causes of power outages?
A.

In Oklahoma and Arkansas, the majority of power outages are related to severe weather. The top three threats are high winds, lightning and ice. Although we regularly prune trees in the easement, trees contribute to power outages when they are blown over and into power lines.  Trees outside the easement on private property can also fall onto service lines. Another frequent cause of local outages is wildlife contacts. On some occasions equipment failure can contribute to outages, since a high percentage of the system is exposed to damage from lightning and ice.  

 

Q.
What if a power line falls in my yard?
A.

Downed power lines may look harmless, but they could be deadly. Keep children and pets away from downed power lines. Call OG&E Customer Service (800-522-6870) and report the problem immediately.