Dominion has improved its outage communications for electric customers in Virginia and North Carolina with the launch of a new interactive outage map on the Web and enhanced call center services.

The new outage map, called the "Outage Viewer," provides the estimated times of service restoration as well as the exact number of customers affected. A zoom feature allows visitors to more precisely locate outages. It can be found on the company's Web site at www.dom.com.

Customers also will find it easier to report power outages and request information about restoration efforts by calling toll-free 1-888-667-3000. Enhancements in call center services also include:

  • Dominion making return calls to customers who report an outage if the estimated restoration time provided changes significantly;.
  • Enabling customers to choose to receive callbacks either 24 hours a day or only between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Providing estimated restoration times sooner after an outage occurs.

"While our goal is to keep the lights on and restore power as quickly and safely as possible if it does go out -- we recognize that accurate, up-to-date information is extremely important to our customers in the event of a service disruption," said Rodney Blevins, vice president, Electric Distribution. "Knowledge may not be as good as 'power,' but it helps customers better manage the situation."

"I think it's wonderful that our citizens can access outage information on a map," said Wallace Twigg, Regional Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. "When their power is out, we know it's very difficult for them. But if they have Internet access, such as through a battery-powered laptop computer or cell phone, this outage viewer provides them with a way to get the information they need."

Dominion also has information on its Web site about how it supplies electricity to customers and the methods and priorities used for restoring power. It is available at www.dom.com, keyword "restore."