Chartwell report examines outage communications strategies at North American electric utilities

Atlanta, GA, Aug. 29, 2008 — Significant opportunities exist for North American utilities providing electric service to expand their outage communications strategies and reach more customers during a major event, new Chartwell research shows.

While more utilities are providing outage information online via “storm center” Web sites, most have yet to fully exploit the opportunities offered through proactive outbound communications and emerging channels such as email and text messages, according to Chartwell’s latest report, “Outage Communications: Analysis and Case Studies.”

This will change in time, Chartwell predicts. “Increasingly, utilities are pointing to better outage management and improved outage response as some of the benefits they expect from the development and rollout of smart grid technologies. At the same time, many companies are placing a new emphasis on delivering reliable information as quickly as possible to customers during power outages,” says Scott Johnson, Chartwell senior research analyst and author of the report.

Topics covered in the report include:

* Moving beyond customers’ basic expectations;
* Greatest challenges;
* Handling outage reports;
* Outbound communications; and
* Outsourcing and technology.

“Outage Communications: Analysis and Case Studies” features original research based on survey interviews with 61 North American utilities.

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