How reliable are Texas’ largest utilities?

May 8, 2019   By Gabi Itzler

How reliable are Texas’ largest utilities?

Most Texans count on the following five Transmission and Distribution Service Providers, commonly known as TDSPs or utilities, to provide electricity service to their homes and businesses. These utilities also maintain all power infrastructure within their service areas, including street lighting, smart meters, power grids and natural gas lines.

While Texans in the deregulated energy system must choose a retail electricity supplier, the local utility is still in charge of delivering that power. And with more than 7 million customers across some of the largest cities in the Lone Star State, these utilities’ primary goal is to deliver safe, reliable power.

So, how reliable are the largest utilities in Texas? Here’s how each TDSP responded during 2017, the most recent year for which data is available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. One thing to note: 2017 is the year Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of the state, causing major outages.

AEP Texas Central

  • Average Interruption Duration: 2,050.9 minutes
  • Average Interruption Frequency: 2.2 per year

AEP Texas Central, which serves about 835,000 customers in Corpus Christi and other major cities, is one of the least reliable utilities in the Lone Star State.

In 2017, AEP Texas Central customers suffered, on average, outages lasting more than 34 hours. AEP Texas Central also had the highest frequency of power outages; customers experienced an average of 2.2 outages in 2017.

CenterPoint Energy

  • Average Interruption Duration: 454.2 minutes
  • Average Interruption Frequency: 1.8 per year

Nearly 2.5 million Texans in Houston, Katy, Pasadena and other cities rely on CenterPoint Energy for their electricity service. While CenterPoint Energy is significantly more dependable than AEP Texas Central, it still ranks as the second-least reliable utility in terms of outage duration.

CenterPoint Energy customers experienced average outage durations of 454.2 minutes, or 7.5 hours. Additionally, CenterPoint Energy’s customers endured about 1.8 outages in 2017.

Oncor Electric

  • Average Interruption Duration: 204.9 minutes
  • Average Interruption Frequency: 1.7 per year

Oncor Electric is Texas’ largest utility with 3.4 million customers throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and more than a dozen other cities. Oncor ranks as the third most dependable utility on our list, with an average outage duration just 3.4 hours. Based on the 2017 data, customers in Oncor’s service area, on average, could expect to experience 1.7 outages per year.

AEP Texas North

  • Average Interruption Duration: 171.4 minutes
  • Average Interruption Frequency: 1.6 per year

AEP Texas North provides electricity power and maintenance to nearly 200,000 residents and business owners in northern cities, including Abilene and San Angelo. In 2017, AEP Texas North ratepayers experienced outages lasting an average of 171.4 minutes, or 2.9 hours. Customers of AEP Texas North had an average of 1.6 outages during the year, which places AEP Texas North in our second-best spot for utility reliability.

TNMP (Texas-New Mexico Power Co.)

  • Average Interruption Duration: 98.1 minutes
  • Average Interruption Frequency: 0.8 per year

The #1 most reliable utility in Texas, based on average outage duration and outage frequency, is the Texas-New Mexico Power Company. TNMP serves as the utility company for more than 240,000 Texans in Dickinson, Lewisville, Stephenville and other smaller cities.

TNMP customers suffered, on average, outages lasting just 98 minutes, or 1.6 hours. Even more impressive is the fact that TNMP’s outage frequency averaged less than one outage per customer in 2017.

(All outage data referenced above include MED, or Major Event Days, such as hurricanes and other powerful storms.)

Utility Name Number of Customers Avg. Outage Duration in minutes (w/ MED) Avg. Outage Duration in minutes (w/o MED) Avg. Outage Frequency (w/ MED) Avg. Outage Frequency (w/o MED)
Texas-New Mexico Power Co 241,892 98.1 75.8 0.8 0.7
AEP Texas North Company 189,943 171.4 115.7 1.6 1.4
Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC 3,412,609 204.9 143.8 1.7 1.5
CenterPoint Energy 2,468,148 454.2 130.6 1.8 1.3
AEP Texas Central Company 835,464 2,050.90 168.5 2.2 1.6

Experiencing a power outage?

If your home loses power or you notice downed lines in your area, contact your local utility immediately.

TDSP/TDU CenterPoint Energy Oncor* AEP North AEP Central TNMP
Contact Information Click here to report a power outage

OR

Call 1-800-332-7143

Click here to report a power outage

OR

Call 1-888-313-4747

OR

Email contactcenter@oncor.com

Click here to report a power outage

OR

Call 1-877-373-4858

Click here to report a power outage

OR

Call 1-877-373-4858

Call 1-888-866-7456 to report a power outage
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(*Former Sharyland Utilities customers should contact Oncor)