For Immediate Release
Thousands of Miles of Trees Trimmed, Hundreds of Miles of Cable Renewed
WASHINGTON , D.C. - As part of an ongoing strategic initiative to improve reliability, Pepco is trimming trees and replacing cable along power lines that span thousands of miles. The effort began in September 2010 and since then Pepco has trimmed more than 2,299 miles of trees along power lines in Maryland and 302 miles in the District of Columbia. The program will continue with Pepco planning to trim another 400 miles in Maryland between now and the end of the year, and 200 miles in the District. To make that happen, Pepco increased the number of tree trimmers on its system by 200 - from 150 in September 2010 to the present 350. The company also has award-winning arborists on staff that help ensure that the trees that are being trimmed stay healthy.
To further improve reliability Pepco has renewed or replaced more than 233 miles of neighborhood underground electric cable in Maryland since last September, and plans to do the same for another 90 miles between now and the end of 2011. The company has also inspected 63 of its electric lines that provide power to its substations and found that tree trimming was necessary for 21 of them and improvements were needed for another 17. Both the trimming and the improvements have been completed.
"We know how important reliability is to our customers and we are working hard every day to improve it," says Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "Pepco is committed to investing more than a half billion dollars in reliability enhancements to our electric system and we are doing exactly that. It's a process and it will take time, but we are making it happen."
Beyond trimming trees and replacing or renewing cable, Pepco is also focusing on improving the service of feeders (circuits) that bring power into neighborhoods with the poorest reliability and enhancing the responsiveness of its customer service center. Since last September, Pepco has enhanced more than 41 distribution feeders in Maryland and 41 feeders in the District of Columbia, and plans to complete work on an additional 40 feeders in Maryland and another 11 feeders in the District between now and the end of the year.
In Customer Care, the number of representatives who take customer calls has doubled - from 40 to 80, the number of phone lines has more than doubled - from 300 to 644, and the company has made arrangements to tap into more outside customer service help during major outages. All Customer Care representatives have been retrained and Pepco also provided training for the 275 representatives who will provide additional help when needed.
" We have taken extensive and sustained actions to improve reliability and customer service, and we will continue this work with an unrelenting focus. While we know there is more to do to improve reliability, we believe the actions we have taken are beginning to pay off. Hurricane Irene left more than 225,000 Pepco customers without power. We restored service to more than 98% of these customers within 50 hours, our customer service center answered more than 250,000 customer calls, nearly all within 60 seconds, and the time we estimated to have power restored to all our customers was accurate," stated Graham. "We are making progress, but our work is ongoing."
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 789,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.