In response to customer interest and just in time for the approaching winter storm, Dominion Virginia Power and North Carolina Power have made it faster and easier to report and check the status of power outages when using the company's website at via computer, smartphone or other mobile device.

All that is needed is the account number or 10-digit phone number associated with the account, and the last four digits of the customer's Social Security number, federal tax identification number or PIN. This is used to confirm the location of the outage. The customer will be asked for contact information to enable Dominion to obtain additional information about the outage if necessary.

"Accurate and timely information is important, especially when your power is out," said Gianna C. Clark, vice president, customer service operations. "The sooner we know there is a problem, the quicker we can respond. Whatever works best and is most convenient for the customer – smartphones, mobile and tablet devices, personal computers or telephone – works best for us, too."

Customers also can report power outages and receive outage-related information using smartphones and the company's mobile website. A user accessing the company's website using a smartphone will automatically be connected to a mobile website that enables customers to report a power outage, obtain outage updates and view power outages by county and city.

Dominion's toll-free customer service line at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) is another way to report an outage or downed power line.

Customers no longer need to enroll or log into "Manage Your Account" to report an outage. However, Dominion recommends setting up an online account to take advantage of other features such as accessing and updating current account information; selecting payment options; starting, stopping or transferring service; reviewing billing, payment, and usage history; and learning about and enrolling in energy conservation programs and the Dominion Green Power program.

Customers can access the new Web features by visiting, clicking on the "customers" link at the top of the page, selecting Virginia or North Carolina, and clicking the "Report a Power Outage" button. Customers using smartphones will automatically be connected to a mobile website.