For Immediate Release
CEO Joseph Rigby and Region President Thomas Graham Introduce Customer Advocate and Update Emergency Response Enhancements
WASHINGTON , D.C. - Pepco executives updated area government officials Thursday, December 1, on initiatives aimed at improving reliability and restoration. The company has added a Customer Advocate, made significant progress in upgrading its infrastructure to improve reliability, and performed extensive process work and training to improve Pepco's restoration efforts, providing more timely and accurate information to customers during outages. We also are installing advanced technology that will allow customers to better manage their energy use and allow Pepco to better manage outages.
"We are working every day to improve our service and our progress continues with infrastructure, technology and customer service enhancements," said Joseph M. Rigby, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pepco Holdings, Inc. "One of our most important changes is the addition of a new position - a Customer Advocate who will serve as the voice of our customers by opening another avenue of communication and creating opportunities to improve the customers' experience with their energy company."
Felecia Greer is the company's new Customer Advocate. Ms. Greer has been with the company for six years and before that spent 10 years at the Maryland Public Service Commission. In this new role, Ms.Greer will interact directly with customers as well as governmental and regulatory officials on a wide variety of issues with the goal of better understanding customer expectations.
"This enhanced understanding of customer expectations will be shared directly with Pepco's leadership team and used to shape improvements in operations, customer service and external communications," said Thomas Graham, President, Pepco Region. "This new role also gives our government leaders an additional liaison to keep them apprised of our continued progress. It is an integral part of our commitment to improving reliability and supports the hard work we are doing in the field."
Since beginning the largest reliability improvement project in its history last September, Pepco has:
· Installed over 278,500 smart meters.
· Trimmed more than 2,870 miles of right-of-way to remove limbs that threaten our equipment.
· Completed the upgrade of 62 of 114 priority feeders to improve their reliability. Pepco will continue to perform these improvements until all feeders are completely upgraded.
· Replaced or upgraded over 280 miles of underground cable in many neighborhoods.
· Added automated switches on 42 power lines that will reroute power more effectively during storms, helping us restore power more quickly.
· Inspected and upgraded the structural integrity of 22 - 69 kV power lines feeding more than 50 substations and trimmed additional trees along these important power lines.
In addition to the reliability work being done, Pepco's focus on restoration continues. Restoration efforts were tested and validated in August with Hurricane Irene. The company has:
· Trained 76 additional crew guides and 30 damage assessors.
· Contracted with a backup crisis call center.
· Revised estimated times of restoration to make them more accurate.
· Developed and launched a new mobile applications to report and track outages.
· Doubled the number of phone lines from 300 to 600 into our customer service center.
· Set up regional storm rooms for more efficient crew dispatch.
· Leveraged advanced technology to do real-time damage assessments.
Recently, Pepco launched its "Take Control of Your Energy Use" campaign with the creation of two new websites that will educate customers about the smart meters that are being installed in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
District customers should visit www.takecontroldc.com and Maryland customers should visit www.takecontrolmaryland.com to learn more about the two-way digital devices that offer a series of benefits to both the customer and utility.
Pepco will continue to provide regular updates during our improvement process and will continue to keep open lines of communication with our customers during major storm events.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 778,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.