How to Report an Outage
There are two ways in which members can report an outage:
- Call the toll free number at 1-800-927-6206. After hours: Press #1 to report it via automatic phone recorder; or press #3 to talk to someone.
- Login to SmartHub, follow the prompts for outage reporting, and the information will automatically be sent to the dispatch team.
Reporting the Outage
If your service is interrupted, the first thing to do is check your fuses or breakers to make sure the problem is not your own. Next, check to see if your neighbors have service. This gives line crews some idea of the extent of the outage. Get your bill and have your location number ready to give to the dispatcher; then call Riverland Energy at 1-800-927-6206 to report the trouble.
If no one answers or if the line is busy, keep trying. In reporting an outage, give the dispatcher the name the service is in (the name on the bill), the location number and your phone number. This information will help us locate your place quickly. If you have information about the cause of the outage (tree limb, broken pole, etc.) please tell the dispatcher. This will also speed the restoration of service.
Be patient, your service will be restored as soon as possible. Line outages will be repaired first, then the individuals’ service will be next.
High-Volume Call Answering System
Our high-volume automated call answering system helps relay problems to our staff quickly and effectively during major interruptions. This system helps us pinpoint issues during major events which allows us to more efficiently dispatch crews. Although the automated system can be frustrating at times, it allows us to take a high volume of calls in a short amount of time. We, as would you, prefer direct contact during outage situations. However during periods of high call volume, our automated system collects outage information thereby allowing REC staff to focus on restoring your power.
Riverland Energy utilizes the Cooperative Response Center, Inc. (CRC) Call Center to answer our overflow calls and outages after regular office hours. CRC recently launched a new service enabling members to report power outages via text messaging.
To utilize our new texting service, you will need to complete a short registration process. Your cell phone number must also be on file at REC for the registration process to be completed successfully. If you have not provided your cell phone number to the co-op in the past, please contact us at 800-411-9115 to do so.
The sign-up process to text reports of power outages to REC is easy. Note, however, that your cell phone plan’s standard text messaging and data rates apply. To sign up, all you need is a computer and a cell phone to follow these steps:
- Click here to access the Member Login page;
- On the Member Login page, enter your email address and a password and click on the Register button;
- Read and accept the website’s terms and conditions; and
- On the Account Verification page, enter your cell phone number and click the Submit button.
After doing so, a text will be sent to your cell phone revealing an account verification code. Enter the verification code in the applicable web page field and click the Submit button. To confirm successful completion of registration process, you will receive a text message thanking you for joining the outage texting service. If REC does not have your cell phone number on file, you will receive a message to contact us to provide the number.
You will then be directed to a screen listing the account number(s) associated with your cell phone number. On this screen, you’ll find the number to which outages should be texted (55050). Make sure to add this number to your cell phone's contacts list so it will be readily available when a power outage occurs. In the instance that you may have multiple accounts with REC, you will be provided with instructions on how to set up key word indicators for each account (i.e., home, well, cabin, garage, barn, etc.). This process will increase the likelihood of reporting individual or full outages successfully. After entering/verifying your outage information and clicking the “Submit” button, you’ll be all set to text your next power outage to us.
You may also download a tutorial to help with sign up - Outage Texting Sign Up Tutorial (pdf).
Texting an Outage
Texting your outage to REC just requires a few simple steps:
- Open a new text message in your cell phone,
- Type “Outage” (without quotes, not case sensitive),
- Enter the outage number provided during the sign up process (55050) in the “Send To” field, and
- Send the message.
For multiple accounts, key word indicators (e.g., home, garage, well, cabin, etc.) can be used in the outage report. For example, in the case of a power outage at your cabin, you would type “Outage Cabin.” If all your accounts are without power, you would type “Outage All”.
Once the text is received and verified by REC’s outage management system, you will receive an “Outage Reported Successfully” text message. And, once the outage has been restored, a text confirming the restoral will be sent to you. If you find you are still without power, it will direct you to call the cooperative with the contact number provided.
For more information
As always, you can still report your outage to REC by calling 800-411-9115 or after hours 800-927-6206. If you happen to know the cause of an outage or see evidence of a dangerous electrical situation, you should always call and report this as soon as possible.
This quick video discusses the most common causes of power outages:
Watch this video on how power is restored: