Progress Energy has the right idea. With the help of iFactor Consulting and Virtual Earth, they are able to illustrate to their customers where outages are in areas they are servicing in Florida.
Progress Energy even put up a "Summary" link to see a graph of outage history and a table of outages by county. You can see how many active outages there are and how many affected customers at any given time. Wow, now that's stepping up to the plate! Most of these energy companies hide behind their phone support and legacy systems. I was in Seattle last winter when the wind storm knocked power from my house in Woodinville for 7 days. The best thing I could get was AM radio updates and a .pdf file which only was updated once. It would be nice to see more power companies step up and get this information out there and more available. My family was in a crisis and had no idea when to expect power! Kudos to Progress Energy for being a leader. Now, does Progress Energy service Seattle? No? Anyone? Bueller?