HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will hold a Special Electric Reliability Forum on Jan. 10, 2013, to hear from the state’s electric utilities that were affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The special forum will examine utilities’ pre-planning measures as the storm approached the east coast, as well as their communications with customers and efforts to restore service during and after the storm. PUC Commissioners will be present for the forum, which will be conducted by the PUC’s Bureau of Technical Utility Services.
“Our agency takes very seriously its duty to ensure safe and reliable electricity service throughout the state and we are always striving to improve our storm response,” said Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “In the last year, the PUC has taken several steps to ensure that the state’s storm response efforts continue to improve. We are continuing our examination of the response to Superstorm Sandy and will take any steps necessary to ensure the response to the next storm is even better.”
Hurricane Sandy is the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, affecting 24 states. At the height of the hurricane, over 8.3 million customers were without power. Hurricane Sandy hit Pennsylvania on, Oct. 29, 2012. At the peak of the storm, 1.2 million Pennsylvanians were without power. Throughout the course of the event, over 1.8 million Pennsylvanians lost power at one time or another with 90 percent of customers having their power restored by Nov. 3, 2012.
The hearing is an offshoot of the PUC’s annual summer and winter reliability assessment meetings which are held in advance of the summer cooling and winter heating seasons. The forum will be held:
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 10, 2013
Hearing Room 1
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North St.
Harrisburg, PA 17120
The Commission invited the following electric utilities to participate in the forum: Pike County Power & Light; UGI Utilities Inc.; PPL Electric Utilities Corp.; Metropolitan Edison Co. and Pennsylvania Electric Co.; West Penn Power Co.; and PECO Energy Co. The utilities will address:
- Preparation, pre-planning and pre-staging of personnel, materials and equipment;
- Outreach to contractors and other utilities;
- Customer communications and outreach;
- Update on the best practices that were implemented following the storms of 2011; and
- What could have been done better - lessons learned.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner. For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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