PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16, 2002 — Customers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties saw their power restored about 10 minutes faster in 2001, when outages did occur, thanks to extensive preventive maintenance efforts by PECO.
And, with substantial investments planned, PECO said it expects strong reliable service again in 2002.
Each year, PECO tracks not only how often a customer is without service, but also how fast service is restored, when outages do occur. During 2001, PECO customers experienced, on average, only slightly more than one power outage — placing the company well above the national average in the frequency of outages when compared to other utilities. Also, the average length of each outage fell by almost 11 percent — a decrease of about 10 minutes and the best performance since 1993.
This dramatic improvement is due, in part, to a preventive maintenance campaign that included more than $50 million invested in local reliability projects and $21 million devoted to tree trimming and hazardous tree removals. Specifically, PECO deployed new technology, visually patrolled all 12,000 miles of distribution circuits and installed upgraded equipment to help prevent power loss.
Crews also worked to improve reliability in targeted communities including Warminster, Chalfont, Neshaminy Valley, Bensalem and Warwick, Bucks County; Horsham, North Wales, Plymouth, Perkiomen and Limerick, Montgomery County; Wayne, Paoli and West Chester, Chester County; Media and Newtown Square, Delaware County and the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia County among others.
“We’ve had a good year, and reached many milestones,” said Denis O’Brien, vice president, Operations. “We completed the first of a massive five-year, $150-million infrastructure investment program; we began to fully utilize our new outage management system to better pinpoint outages and more effectively dispatch crews; and we completed a 20-point plan to restore service faster.”
The 20-point plan included installing equipment to help isolate the cause of an outage and reduce the number of people affected while crews make repairs, enhancing staffing schedules, and providing additional training and performance incentives for employees.
O’Brien said plans are already underway for even better results in 2002. To further increase reliability, PECO has embarked on three-year, $15-million investment in automatic switching equipment to decrease the number of interruptions to customers.
PECO, an Exelon Company, delivers electricity to 1.5 million customers and natural gas to 430,000 customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Based in Philadelphia, PECO and its sister utility, ComEd in the Chicago area, are subsidiaries of Exelon Energy Delivery.
Its parent, Exelon Corporation, is one of the largest energy service companies in the U.S. with the largest retail utility customer base, one of the largest power generation fleets and a wholesale energy marketing operation in North America. In 2000, PECO delivered 92.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 35.36 million megawatt hours of electricity, generating $3.5 billion in revenue for Exelon.