Smart Grid investments and other system improvements result in a
third year of record reliability for ComEd customers – fewer and shorter
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ComEd officials participated today in an important policy session held
by the Illinois Commerce Commission to discuss the significant
improvements made to the electrical delivery system and utility
readiness to meet the demands of potential severe summer weather. The
utility also provided a look back at its results in 2015, which
demonstrated improved reliability to its customers.
ComEd reported that in 2015 the company marked a third year of record
system reliability and its best safety performance on record. As a
result of smart grid and other system investments, ComEd customers
avoided nearly 2.5 million power interruptions and experienced a 42
percent reduction in the average duration of outages.
The company also reported that since the start of smart grid program,
which began in 2012, the frequency of power outages have declined by 44
percent and storm-related customer interruptions have decreased by 30
percent. In that same time period, advanced technology like smart
switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new
storm-hardening solutions and cable replacement also have contributed to
nearly 6 million avoided customer interruptions – resulting in $1.1
billion in societal savings.
“The smart grid investments and other system improvements continue to
provide direct benefits to our customers. 2015 marked three years
of record system reliability and the best safety performance on record
for ComEd,” said Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief
operating officer, ComEd. “As we move into the summer season, our system
and employees are ready and remain focused on providing our customers
the very best service possible.”
ComEd outlined its plans to prepare for storms in 2016. Back in 2012,
ComEd launched yearly storm task force groups to review and improve
ComEd processes during severe weather. To date more than 300 process
improvements have been made. This year, teams are focused on several
areas including providing more accurate restoration times to customers,
better management of crew scheduling and the ability to more quickly
train mutual assistance crews, and improving the gathering of metrics.
ComEd also detailed its work to participate in local and national
exercises with other utilities and contractors to improve coordination
in the event of larger scale storms. ComEd also hosted a local
contractor symposium to review process changes and improvements, and
share feedback and best practices from them.
“We are an active member of three regional mutual assistance groups,
which gives more resources to draw from in the event of a significant
weather event,” said Michelle Blaise, senior vice-president of Technical
Services for ComEd. “We worked with our sister utilities – PECO, BGE and
PHI – as well as state and local agencies to drill on emergency
preparedness. We also work regularly with city and county officials on
Load Shed and response exercises. All of this coordination means that we
are better prepared, and our mutual assistance crews are will be ready
to jump into action when needed to restore customers quickly and safely.”
One of the most important aspects of ComEd’s daily work and storm
response is communication with its customers. The utility reported that,
in an effort to improve its availability to customers, it extended its
customer service hours by one hour per day, now Monday – Friday 7:00 AM
to 7:00 PM. Additionally, more than 100 temporary customer service
agents are being on-boarded to assist with increased summer call volume.
During a storm, ComEd has improved the way customers can report an
outage. Blaise reported that customers can report an outage through
ComEd’s website without logging in to their account. This is in addition
to a mobile app for iPhone® and Android™® smart phones that gives
customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts.
Customers can also report outages through ComEd’s Facebook and Twitter
pages, or by calling 1-800 EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking
customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy
provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides
service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois,
or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information
and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
ComEd Media Relations