Hundreds of Crews Are Working to Restore Power to Remaining 4 Percent of Customers
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Final Phase of Restoration is Slow and Challenging
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pepco is working full force to restore power to the remaining 4 percent of customers who lost electrical service in the wake of last Friday’s violent storm. Pepco expects the majority of remaining customers without power to be restored by 11 p.m., Friday, July 6. However, some of the remaining outages are expected to extend into the weekend. The estimated restoration time for these customers is 11 p.m., Sunday, July 8.
The extensive damage associated with the remaining outages makes restoring service to these customers especially challenging. This final phase is the result of a very specific restoration process that has to occur in order to restore electricity to localized outages – major power lines must be repaired first before those smaller outages can be restored. This phase is also the most time-consuming part of the restoration effort in which crews are restoring small pockets and individual customers. When the damage is severe, restoring power to a single customer can take as much time as restoring service to a large group of customers. The majority of remaining outages affect small groups or individual customers. Also, more damage might be identified as crews go deeper into the neighborhoods.
“This is the most challenging phase of our restoration process, tackling these localized outages and restoring power to the remaining customers without electricity,” said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco. “We thank customers for their patience as we enter this phase of work and we want them to know that we are getting to them as soon as we are able. We will not be satisfied or stop our efforts until every customer affected by the storm is restored.”
Pepco encourages customers who are still out of power to report their outages again and reminds them that short outages may occur as crews may need to switch power lines off and on to allow them to work safely to make repairs.
Pepco has about 2,900 personnel working on the restoration effort.
- About 1,900 field restoration personnel including:
- 800 power line personnel from out of state;
- 500 tree trimming personnel;
- 400 overhead line contractors;
- 145 internal Pepco and Delmarva Power line crew members; and
- 70 internal underground and substation personnel.
- In addition, about 245 personnel are mobilized to answer customer calls and about 750 personnel are supporting the restoration effort in other roles.
- Pepco reminds customers that if they see crews who are not actively engaged in restoring power, the crews are either:
- Waiting for electrical equipment to be de-energized or energized before working or moving on to the next job,
- Waiting for materials to arrive that were requested after surveying onsite damage, or
- Reviewing orders for the next assignment.
Pepco urges customers who are still without power to report their outage at pepco.com, through the mobile app or by calling 1-877-737-2662 and following the prompts on the automated system. If reporting an emergency or another life-threatening situation such as downed wires, a customer should immediately call 1-877-737-2662 and follow the appropriate prompts. Customers’ reports are vital to Pepco’s restoration efforts because, combined with other customer calls and the company’s technology, it helps precisely identify the remaining locations without power and speeds restoration.
Pepco also recommends, when reporting an outage, customers request a call-back. Call-backs allow Pepco to notify customers when work in their area is completed. However, although area work has been completed, not every customer may have been restored, if further damage is located on equipment directly serving a customer’s home. The call-backs help the utility to locate outages that are specific to customers’ homes and still need to be addressed.
To keep up to date on their individual restoration estimates, customers are encouraged to call 877-PEPCO62, visit www.pepco.com, and download our mobile app at www.pepco.com/mobileapp. They also may follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect.
How Pepco Restores Power
- Pepco’s damage assessment and restoration process begins as soon as storm conditions allow for personnel to proceed safely with gathering information and determining the extent of the damage.
- It is important to undertake restoration work in a sequence that restores the largest number of customers first. The utility also gives priority to hospitals, and public safety facilities such as police and fire stations.
- The company also works with local Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs) to learn county and District priorities.
- Pepco’s priorities include the following:
- Downed live wires or potentially life-threatening situations
- High priority customers such as public health and safety facilities
- Transmission lines serving thousands of customers
- Substation equipment
- Main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers
- Secondary lines serving neighborhoods
- Pepco cannot provide restoration priority to individual customers when there are extensive power outages. If customers or their family members need life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, they should go to an alternative location with power.
- Though we are sensitive to the challenges associated with a loss of power, the designation of a particular outage as an ‘emergency’ is limited to those circumstances that present life-threatening conditions such as downed live wires.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 788,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.