For Immediate Release
For Immediate ReleaseDecember 16, 1999
Potomac Electric Power Company hosted Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson at its Control Center today for a first-hand look at Pepco`s preparedness for supplying and delivering electricity during the transition to the Year 2000. Richardson declared Pepco and the nation`s electric and gas utility industries "100 percent ready" for the new century.
Accompanied by leaders of national energy industry organizations and Chairman James J. Hoecker of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Richardson toured the facility where Pepco manages the flow of power to its 700,000 customers in Washington, D.C. and the Maryland suburbs.
Pepco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Derrick, Jr. said the company has taken every precaution necessary to make sure the rollover to Y2K is as smooth and uneventful as possible. "Pepco expects no major computer related problems. We expect this to be a non-event," he said.
"While there is always the potential for power outages from severe weather or auto accidents, especially on Jan.1, we believe we`ve taken the right steps to prepare for Y2K," Derrick said, noting that the company has contingency plans in place to quickly deal with any problems should they occur.
Nearly all of Pepco`s 3,700 employees will be working or on call Dec. 31 with extra people staffing the Control Center and Customer Call Center. The Emergency Command Center will be activated, all critical substations will be staffed and line repair crews will be standing by at their dispatch centers. Pepco`s six base-load power plants will be operating with peaking units on standby in the event that additional power is needed over what typically is a holiday weekend with low demand for electricity.
In June, Pepco declared as Y2K ready all of its critical systems that produce and deliver electricity. The company spent four years and more than $12 million to identify and assess all operations and systems that might be vulnerable to a Y2K problem. Then it implemented and tested any solutions to fix any potential problems. A DOE audit in September said Pepco`s "credibility of Y2K readiness is high since every mission-critical device which could be tested was tested."
Pepco (NYSE: POM) is an investor-owned utility that provides electricity in Washington, D.C. and the Maryland suburbs. Through its family of unregulated subsidiaries, Pepco also offers electric energy, natural gas, high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance telephone, cable television and energy management services in the mid-Atlantic region.
Point of Contact:Robert A. Dobkin