5 Myths About Pepco & Service Reliability :: Introduction

Over the last several months since the 2010 Winter and Summer Storms, I have been interviewed on dozens of occasions, intently listened during over 10 hours of public hearings, participated in reliability work groups and have read countless customer communications (email and letters). The message is loud and clear, our customers expect better electric service reliability. Our commitment to our customers is also loud and clear:

• The number of times a customer is out of service WILL go down
• The length of time a customer is out of service WILL go down
• Communications with our customers WILL improve
• Coordination with government agencies WILL improve

In response, you may know Pepco launched a Six Point Reliability Enhancement Plan in MD and DC last year. In an effort to bring greater transparency and provide a high level accountability, I have decided to start blogging in an attempt to not only keep you posted on process executing the Reliability Enhancement Plan but also to address some common misconceptions about Pepco. I will call this series the “Five Myths About Pepco and Reliability.” You might have your own list that you may want me to cover but here is my list:

1. Pepco’s Reliability Enhancement Program is only a PR Campaign
2. Pepco Blames Everything on Trees
3. Pepco is a Third World Utility
4. Undergrounding Lines is the Best Solution
5. Pepco Will Take 5 Years to Improve Electric Service Reliability

Improving service reliability for our customers is the commitment from our Chairman, President & CEO Joe Rigby and it is also my personal commitment. Maintaining an electric system that stretches 640 square miles and serves 782,000 customers is no small task but it is Pepco’s responsibility and we ask to be held accountable for the successful execution of Six Point Reliability Enhancement Plan.

I look forward to hearing from you after each blog. Feel free to leave comments or email me at tom.graham@pepco.com. Your comments mean a lot to me.

Thomas H. Graham
President
Pepco Region

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About pepcoconnect

Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc., delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 788,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Pepco is committed to providing its customers with information on energy conservation, renewable energy sources and steps the company is taking to meet customers' changing needs.

6 thoughts on “5 Myths About Pepco & Service Reliability :: Introduction

  1. Where I live, in Clopper Mill West, I don’t believe power went out one time out between 1999 and 2008, and it never went out over night. From 2008 till 2011, it appears that there has been a distribution change and now the power goes out frequently for periods longer than 24 hrs. Are you keeping record of the occurrence, severity and duration, short term correction, and any recommended long term correction for every power outage, and can I receive a copy of the corrective actions that been taken. All I hear is that Pepco is working on the problem, and things are getting better, and the fault is the trees or squirrels. I would like to see more concrete, specific information, on the power distribution, and corrective maintainence actions. On the surface, it does not appear that Pepco’s response is not consistent with the performance history. Also, it is noted that nearby areas such as adjacent communities, the high school and the street lights do not lose power to the same level or duration.

  2. How’s that improvement plan coming along? NOT!
    Still blaming the trees . . .

    Some Pepco Customers Still Waiting for Power
    Updated: Sunday, 30 Jan 2011, 9:06 AM EST
    Published : Sunday, 30 Jan 2011, 9:06 AM EST

    Audrey Barnes
    FOX 5 Reporter
    BY AUDREY BARNES/myfoxdc

    WASHINGTON – The news for Pepco customers without electricity has gone from bad to worse. Company President Thomas Graham says some people may not get their power back until Monday.

    Graham says the big problem is downed trees. He visited several neighborhoods on foot to survey the damage Saturday.

    Amy Bills who lives on Ansin Circle Drive in Potomac has been without power since Wednesday. She’s had to move her 74 year old mother who is wheelchair bound and her brother, who was Down Syndrome to a hotel. It’s 35 degrees inside their house. Bills says Pepco has given her five different restoration times that have all come and gone.

    “Just be honest,” Bills says. “If you can’t do it, say you can’t do it, but I hate being strung along. We’re losing money, and we’re losing hope.”

    Graham wants to assure residents they haven’t been abandoned. They have 1200 crews on the streets, working 16 hour days, trying to restore power. They’ve already made arrangements to keep 700 out of town crews here to finish cleaning up from this storm, and be in place for the next one.

    “We have our foot on the pedal and we’re not letting up,” Graham says.

  3. P.S. The utilities on Ansin Circle and all of Park Potomac are completely underground, as are those in nearby Regency Estates, which had MULTIPLE outages in the past year, completely independent of weather.

  4. I have plenty of comments about Pepco (non)Service, but the bottom line is this:

    I have lived in five U.S. time zones, all in areas with more extreme weather than the MidAtlantic (including 10 years in Alaska). I have had service from everything from rural coops to major regional providers.

    And I have never had outages like Pepco treats as SOP.

    Of course, knowing Pepco’s arrogance, my experiences will be summarily dismissed as mere anecdotes.

  5. DEAR MR. GRAHAM,

    AS ONE OF THE CASUALTIES OF THE 01/26/11-01/29/11 POWER FIASCO, I WILL PERSONALLY VOUCH FOR THE FACT THAT THE “FIVE MYTHS ABOUT PEPCO & SERVICE RELIABILITY” ARE NOT MYTHS BUT ARE COLD, HARD REALITY. TRULY HORRID SERVICE.

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