If you live in Illinois and get your electricity delivered by ComEd, you can now get text message alerts on your cell phone to notify you of outages in your area and provide estimates of how long you’ll be without power.
Delivery customers of the utility — meaning anyone who receives electricity service in ComEd’s territory, regardless of whether electricity is bought from the utility or from an alternative retail electricity supplier — may opt in to the new program, which automatically sends text messages to customers in areas experiencing power losses. According to ComEd, texts will be sent out about 30 minutes after an outage is confirmed.
The first part of the outage notification service might be a little redundant while you’re at home, as you can imagine, but the real benefit is the follow-up texts that will let you know when a crew is dispatched to fix the problem and when you can expect to have power restored. You’ll also get a text if the restore time changes and a final text once power has been restored.
ComEd said it will send a maximum of seven texts per day to each customer. Here’s hoping you never need that many.
If you decide to opt in to the program, make sure you have a text messaging plan with your cell phone provider. The program itself is free but your carrier’s normal text messaging rates will still apply.
For more information or to sign up for the outage notification service, visit www.comed.com.
“ComEd Offers Outage Alerts Via Text,” Romeoville Patch, Jan. 12, 2012.