RESIDENTIAL - Outages & Interruptions

Reporting a Power Outage

 

Call Decatur Utilities (DU) at 256-552-1400 and select Opt. 1.

Follow the system prompts to enter the phone number associated with your account.

Your outage will be automatically entered into our Outage Management System.

If your phone number is not recognized, you may leave a message for dispatch.

You can update your account with a current phone number by calling Customer Service at 256-552-1400 Opt. 4.

 

Outage Map

 

Click here to view our current outage map.

 

Outage Updates

 

Unplanned outages occur when we experience storms or unexpected equipment failures. Depending on the scope of the outage, the number of customers affected, and the duration, DU has implemented an outage notification process to keep our customers informed. At the point an outage has locked out a circuit breaker coming from one our substations (typically affecting a few hundred customers or more), we will begin sending out notifications using the following traditional and social media outlets:

 

  • Social Media

 

  • Traditional Media

    • Radio

    • Huntsville Television

    • Print

 

 

How We Restore Outages

At DU, our mission is to provide “safe, reliable utility services at the lowest possible rate and meet the needs of customers and employees.”


Sometimes weather conditions or other situations beyond our control interfere with that mission and cause interruptions of electric service to customers.


When that happens, DU responds immediately to identify the problem, dispatch crews to the appropriate location and restore service as quickly - and safely - as possible.


In the case of widespread outages, typically caused by high winds or ice, we take a methodical approach to restoring service.

 

  • First, we get substations back in service as soon as possible. This restores service to the largest number of customers.

  • Second, we identify smaller blocks of customers that may still be out due to a problem in their specific area.

  • Third, we begin to focus on individual, isolated outages caused by trees on service lines, blown transformers, etc.

If you are among those final customers to be restored, we understand your frustration at seeing the lights come on down the road.


However, following this procedure allows us to get all customers restored in the shortest amount of time.

Generator Safety

There are generally TWO types of generators that can be used to provide temporary power to your home or business in the event of an extended outage.

  • Standby Backup Generators Wired Directly into Your Home/Business with a Transfer Switch

    • Must be professionally installed by certified electrician​.

    • If not properly disconnected during operation, standby generators can backfeed electricity onto power lines which crews believe are de-energized (or "dead") due to the outage. 

    • Notify DU at 256-552-1400 Opt. 4 so we can register the installed generator on your account and conduct a test of your transfer switch to ensure it does not allow a backfeed.

    • Installing, registering and testing your generator's transfer switch keeps our crews safe when restoring to outages in your particular area and helps protect them, your neighbors and other members of the community from a potential backfeed which can result in severe injury or death.

 

  • Portable Generators

    • Do NOT connect a portable generator into your home or business. Portable generators are not designed to be plugged into an outlet in your home OR connected to your home's wiring system. Only use a portable generator to serve selected appliances and/or lights.​

    • Portable generators that are plugged into a home's power outlet or wiring system can backfeed electricity onto power lines which crews believe are de-energized (or "dead") due to the outage. ​

    • Not plugging your portable generator into a home's power outlet or wiring system keeps our crews safe when restoring to outages in your particular area and helps protect them, your neighbors and other members of the community from a potential backfeed which can result in severe injury or death.

    • Never operate a portable generator inside due to carbon monoxide (CO) present in the generator's exhaust.

      • Locate generators outside, away from doors, windows and vents.

      • Install CO detectors in your home/business.

        • Note: CO cannot been seen, tasted or smelled!​

  • Purchasing a generator

    • Make certain it is listed with Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) to ensure it is tested and approved.​

    • Purchase from a reputable company.

    • Before purchasing, examine labels on the devices you plan to connect to the generator to determine the amount of power that will be needed to operate the equipment.

    • Choose a generator that produces MORE power than will be drawn by the combination of lighting, appliances and equipment you plan to connect - including the initial surge when it is turned on.

  • General Generator Safety

    • Natural Gas Stand-by Generators

      • Minimum 2 psi outlet pressure​.

      • Gas plumbing and connection installed by certified and licensed natural gas plumber.

      • Generator and transfer switch installed by certified and licensed  electrician.

      • Installation inspected by City of Decatur Building Department.

      • Smell gas and suspect a leak? Follow these natural gas safety precautions.

    • Stand-by AND Portable Gasoline or Diesel Generators

      • Allow the generator to cool down before refueling.

      • Store fuel in an approved safety can and use the type of fuel recommended in your generator's user guide or operational instructions.

      • Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel that can be stored and/or the location. Contact the Decatur Fire Department for additional information.

      • Do not store fuel in a garage, basement or inside your home. Vapors can be released that may cause illness - and they are a potential fire or explosion hazard.

Power Outage Preparedness

Keep a battery powered radio or television and at least TWO flashlights accessible for electrical outages. (Make sure to store the appropriately sized batteries separately and replace them every six months even if not used.)

 

For a full list of the items to keep in your emergency outage kit, click here.

 

 

Other Utility Service Interruptions

 

Should you experience an interruption of your water or natural gas service, please call 256-552-1400 and select Opt. 2 to report it.

 

If you experience slow drains and/or sewage backup, call us at 256-552-1400 Opt. 4 and we will have a service technician check and see if the problem is on DU or the customer's side.

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1002 Central Parkway SW

PO Box 2232 (35609)

Decatur, AL 35601

© 2019 Decatur Utilities

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