Sandy One Year Later: Stronger System, Continuous Improvement
PPL Electric Utilities continues work to reduce outages, improve service for customers
PPL Electric Utilities

A year after Hurricane Sandy devastated the mid-Atlantic region, PPL Electric Utilities continues to improve its system to keep the lights on for customers.

“Sandy still is fresh in our minds and our objective remains unchanged – to continue to provide superior customer service and a safe and reliable system that is even less vulnerable to storms,” said Greg Dudkin, president of PPL Electric Utilities.

“The work we’ve done in recent years will provide benefits to our customers when severe weather strikes in the future,” he said. “We know people depend on us, and that losing power has a significant impact. We are better prepared now than in any other time in our history.”

To harden its system and reduce outages from storms, the company is in the midst of an unprecedented investment plan -- $3.8 billion in improvements over five years, including nearly $1 billion this year.

This work is aimed at preventing outages, reducing the length of outages, and allowing power to be restored faster. It includes:

  • Installing bigger, taller poles and thicker wires to help prevent storm damage
  • Clearing trees along thousands of miles of power lines, because trees are a major cause of storm outages
  • Replacing aging lines, poles and substations 
  • Adding automation and smart grid technology, and installing automated switches and other devices
  • Installing more lightning protection and animal guards

Hurricane Sandy was the worst storm on record for PPL Electric Utilities, affecting more than 523,000 customers. Eighty-five percent of affected customers had their power restored within four days.

Since Sandy, PPL Electric Utilities and other utilities are refining mutual assistance plans to more efficiently direct help to customers affected by severe storms.

PPL Electric Utilities also improved coordination with community leaders and government and emergency response agencies, and opened more ways to communicate with customers and the public.

It recently launched a series of upgrades to its website — www.pplelectric.com — to provide power restoration updates and other storm information. Customers can communicate directly with the company through social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Dudkin said: “Though it’s been relatively quiet this year from a storm perspective, we know Mother Nature will test us again. When she does, we’re ready.”

PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.

For further information: Paul Wirth, 610-774-5997
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