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BWL Launches Text Messaging Service to Report an Outage

Tuesday, December 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Contact: Stephen Serkaian,

517-702-6735, 517-881-4085


BWL Launches Text Messaging Service to Report an Outage

New outage reporting and preparedness informational videos now on BWL’s YouTube channel and website; BWL’s communications technologies for customers now rank among the utility industry’s best 

The Lansing Board of Water & Light today launched a new text messaging service that enables customers to report outages and receive service restoration time estimates via any mobile phone or device with texting capabilities. Customers can now text “out” or “outage” to “txtbwl” or 898295 to report a power outage.

“We’ve worked very hard to make communication improvements following the December ice storm to help customers get power back faster during an outage. Our new outage text messaging service now gives customers four different ways to communicate with us when their power goes out. This puts us among the top of all utilities across the nation for ways to report an outage and receive service restoration time estimates,” said BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark. “Adding text messaging will help us reach an even larger audience in the community and gives our customers several options to report their outage.”

If customers text from the phone number associated with their account, the system will automatically register the outage with the associated account address. Those texting from a phone number not associated to their account address will be prompted to enter the phone number that is associated with the account or the first four house numbers plus the last four of the account holder’s social security number.

Once an outage has been reported, the texting system will give an estimated time of restoration (ETR) if one is available. Once a crew is able to assess the outage, the texting system will allow customers to text  “stat” to receive an estimated time of restoration. 

In addition to text messaging to report outages, customers can call the 877-295-5001 outage line, visit the Outage Center with interactive outage map ( or download the mobile app (

The BWL also unveiled four  informational videos on its website ( today highlighting the four different ways to report a power outage, the tree trimming and mast repair programs and storm preparedness. The videos are hosted on the company’s new YouTube channel.

“We’ve committed to better communicating with our customers and the informational videos fulfill another effective way we can do so,” said Lark.


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