GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville Utilities is announcing the launch of a text-based system to keep people updated about power outages in the area 24 hours a day.

Officials said in a media release, the messages will include an initial alert soon after the system indicates an outage that affects the customer, a link to the outage map and estimated restoration time, a follow-up alert when crews have arrived to the affected service area, and a final message indicating power has been restored. 

“We believe these texts will be very helpful to our customers, especially in the rare case of a large outage,” said John Worrell, Director of Electric Systems. “The text system will analyze data in our control system, as well as calls we get into our Emergency Hotline (1-855-767-2482), and automatically notify customers who are likely without power. It will also let them know when crews are on site and when power has been restored.” 

These messages from GUC will not ask for personal information. They will simply let customers know about an outage that could affect them and point to GUC’s online outage map for those who want updates on the estimated time of restoration once crews arrive. This is not a system where customers can report outages – that can be done through the online outage map or by calling the Emergency Hotline at 1-855-SOS-2-GUC (1-855-767-2482). 

Customers who have included their cell phone number on their GUC account will automatically be enrolled in the system and can easily opt out. GUC is asking all customers to make sure their cell number is listed on their account by going to guc.com, logging in to Your Account, and updating the information under User Profile. They can also use the online chat at guc.com or call 252-752-7166 during regular business hours to update their contact information. 

All customers with their cell phone numbers on their account will receive a message letting them know the service is active. There is no charge from GUC for the service, however data charges from your cellular provider may apply. GUC currently provides text notifications as an option for customers who manage their accounts online as well as for notice of gas connection appointments. 

For more information, go to guc.com