Thousands of SRP prepaid plan customers in Phoenix affected by now-restored outage

Officials with SRP say customers on its M-Power prepaid plan were affected by a power outage on the night of Jan. 8, but it has since been restored.

Throughout Friday night, FOX 10 received calls from viewers who say people with an outstanding balance on SRP's M-Power program had their power shut off at around 8 p.m.

The company released a statement Saturday morning saying they had a technical issue that impacted more than 15,000 customers on its prepaid plan. 

SRP's phones were also affected, causing many customers who called to receive a busy signal.

Power was restored at 1 a.m. Saturday morning, officials say. They are still investigating what caused the outage.

At around 9:30 p.m., officials with SRP issued a number of instructions for people to follow in order to restore their electricity.

  1. Write down 7183 5365 1334 1168 0000.
  2. Press and hold the "Display Cycle" and "Select Language" buttons for five seconds. The message "Enter Code" will appear. If power was off, it will turn on for ten minutes while you enter the code.
  3. Begin entering the code by pressing the "Select Language" button until the 1st number you need appears. Next, press "Display Cycle" button to lock in the number and move to the next position. If you make a mistake entering a number, press both buttons for 2 seconds & releas
  4. he blinking line will move back to the last digit entered so you can correct the entry. Repeat step 2 until all digits in the code you were issued have been entered. The message "eCode Accepted" will appear if the number has been entered correctly and validated.

SRP officials say they do not know what led to power being cut to customers on the M-Power plan, but they are investigating.

According to SRP's website, the M-Power price plan is a pay-as-you-go plan that allows people to choose how much power to purchase.

Customers on the plan, according to the website, will have a special meter installed at their home, which will show them how much power they have left, and provide notifications when power is running out. Customers who need more power can purchase more power via an app offered by SRP.

Outage hurts woman's start to the New Year

It was a frustrating start to the New Year for Fatima Gillespie. "It was horrible for us it was really bad," she said of the outage.

"My nieces were in the living room and it just shut off, just shut off. Like no warning," Gillespie said.

She was one of about a thousand SRP customers using its M-Power boxes to have the power cut, leaving most of her apartment complex in the dark. "Most of the people are low income, so it was pitch black over here," Gillespie explained.

Many of those customers spent the night lined up outside the local Fry’s grocery store to try and put money to their accounts, believing the power was shut off due to unpaid bills. "When we put the money in, it went on for like ten minutes or so but then the lights went off," she said.

SRP released a statement saying, "This was not a debt-related circumstance. We did not intentionally disconnect the affected customers and they were brought back on line as quickly as possible."

The ordeal still left Gillespie shaken up after an already rough few months. She is struggling to pay bills and support her family, that’s on top of suffering from COVID-19 herself last year when the virus ripped through her family leaving a relative in the hospital for more than 100 days.

"Like I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do anymore," she said, but adds she's doing her best to keep the faith and that she believes it will see her through.

She says, "By the grace of God we’re gonna make it. By the grace of God."