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Tucson Electric Power has begun providing residential customers with more advance notice of service interruptions required for critical upgrades and repairs.

Under a new process intended to improve communication, customers receive an automated phone call two to three days before a scheduled outage, allowing time for any necessary preparations.

TEP works hard to keep the power on, and our reliability consistently ranks among the best in our industry. But outages are sometimes required while crews work on equipment, usually for safety reasons.

Previously, TEP workers would knock on doors or leave door hangers at homes where outages were planned. But customers sometimes missed the notices and questioned why their power was out.

“We believe this is a more effective way of communicating to our customers,” said Alec Acuña, TEP Transmission and Distribution Supervisor, who led the development of the new proactive outage communication plan.

Acuña’s team also is providing customer service representatives with more information about planned outages to help answer customers’ questions.

This new process expands TEP’s efforts to improve communications about outages. In 2014, TEP launched a new outage map so customers can monitor unplanned outages on computers and mobile devices.

“By addressing issues that most affect our customers, we hope to provide better customer service,” Acuña said.

For now, customers are called at the phone numbers on record. In the future, they may be able to choose their preferred method of communication, such as text or email. Also, the process may be expanded to notify customers of other planned projects, such as tree trimming.