Reliability Improves Significantly for Customers of PPL Electric Utilities
New equipment, additional tree trimming paying off; more investments to come
PPL Electric Utilities

Electric service for customers of PPL Electric Utilities is getting more reliable as the company installs new equipment and trims more trees around power lines, a PPL Electric Utilities executive said Thursday (3/6).

The number of power outages and the length of outages declined significantly during 2013, according to Gregory N. Dudkin, the utility’s president.

Dudkin also outlined additional plans to prevent power outages for homes and businesses throughout the company’s 29-county service territory.

During 2013, the number of power outages was down by 9 percent compared to the average of the previous three years. The average duration of power outages was down by 11 percent by the same comparison.

Tree-related power outages declined by 43 percent in 2013, demonstrating the value to customers of the utility’s stepped-up tree trimming and removal. Trees are the most common cause of power outages during storms.

“Our customers – and our communities -- deserve the most reliable electric service we can possibly provide,” said Dudkin. “That’s why all of us are focused every day on making additional improvements that benefit our customers.”

PPL Electric Utilities’ ongoing investments to make electric service more reliable include:

  • Increased tree trimming.
  • Remote-controlled smart grid switches. The utility is installing hundreds of automated devices on electric transmission lines so operators can more quickly detect outages and reroute power to restore customers even before repairs are made. Smart grid devices help reroute power around outages and restore customers to service faster.
  • Stronger poles. The company is installing bigger, taller poles with thicker wires to help prevent storm damage.
  • Lightning protection. This work makes it less likely that lightning strikes on lines will cause power outages.
  • Animal guards. These devices prevent squirrels and other animals from getting into equipment and causing outages.
  • Replacing aging equipment. PPL Electric Utilities has stepped up its maintenance and replacement program to make its system even more reliable, and to make it better able to withstand extreme temperatures and storms.

PPL Electric Utilities plans to make significant investments across its service area to continue to reduce the number and duration of power outages affecting customers, Dudkin said.

At the same time, he said, the utility is focused on working more efficiently and more cost-effectively to keep rates reasonable and to continue to provide safe and reliable service that also is a good value for customers.

PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked 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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