Top 5 Things To Know About Your ETR

The damage assessment has been completed.  The notes have been compiled.  Everything (we’re aware of) has been considered.  A Global Estimated Time of Restoration (ETR) is now available!

Below are the questions you may be asking…

1. What is a global ETR?
In short, a global ETR is the time by which we will restore every last customer that lost power during the storm.  It is dependent on the information that we have gathered and the resources we have available.  It does not mean that customers will not be restored before that time.

2. What is the global ETR for effects of Hurricane Irene?
This Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

3. Why did it take so long for the ETR to be available?
Damage assessment is an integral step in the restoration process and is absolutely necessary to providing an accurate ETR.  Crews have to survey our entire service territory (all of Washington, DC and most of Montgomery & Prince George’s counties) and determine how much work needs to be done for each location of damage that has been reported.  As I stated in my blog post yesterday, damage assessment can take days, but 24 hours into it, we’re able to begin providing ETRs.

4. Why is the global ETR set for five days after Hurricane Irene?
The damage that Hurricane Irene left behind was extensive.  A snapshot of that can be found in our Facebook photo gallery.  After closely evaluating all of the damage, our assessors determined that it will take until Thursday to restore the very last customer affected by Hurricane Irene.

Note: The majority of Pepco customers still experiencing an outage will have their power restored well before Thursday evening.  In fact, in the first 24 hours of our response to the storm, we restored power to 140,000 of the 220,000 customers affected at the peak of the storm.  Public health and safety remains the top priority in our restoration process.

5. When I called in, I received Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. as my ETR.  Does that mean I’m the last customers?
No, that doesn’t mean you’re the last customer to be restored.  At this point, all customers without crews onsite at their outage location receive the same (global) ETR when they request their outage status (1) from a Customer Care Representative, (2) on our website, or (3) through our mobile app.

Remember a global ETR is the amount of time that it will take to restore the last customer affected with the information that we have gathered and the resources we have available.  Between now and then, crews will continue to work around the clock to restore everyone.  As work is assigned and crews arrive on-site of outage locations, updated (and more precise) ETRs will be available.

Without a doubt, this remains an all-hands-on-deck, around-the-clock effort, with hundreds of Pepco and out-of-town crews strategically mobilized to attack the outages. We’re following the restoration strategy

I will continue to share information as it’s provided to me via Twitter & Facebook.

‘Til the next post,

Andre

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2 thoughts on “Top 5 Things To Know About Your ETR

  1. I appreciate that you guys have set up this blog. I wish I had found it under better circumstances. I’ve bookmarked it for future reference. Just as a friendly suggestion, and I do mean this constructively, if you don’t have a time for when individual repairs will be done, do NOT post the absolute latest time as the ETR for that particular job site. I understand that the website also stated that this was a worse case scenario. But if people are just checking their house over and over again–like I was–they don’t really get that you’ve assigned everyone the same ETR. I was nearly beside myself with frustration in my office today when I saw Sept 1 7pm. I called, outraged, and the person on the other end of the phone was calm and able to assure me that my house would likely be restored much, much earlier. It was restored this afternoon. The upshot is, I think people would understand if you wrote “pending” and then somewhere ELSE on the website–NOT by the individual job site triangle thing–you put the global ETR. Just a suggestion. I know you guys have a pretty big uphill PR battle. I know you want to provide as much information as you can when you can–I have nothing but respect for the Pepco employees–but posting the global ETR the way you did is only a recipe for making people angrier. A look at the #pepco and #pepcosucks hashtag traffic makes this clear. The Sept 1 thing really confused people. Again, just a suggestion.

    • Sarah —

      Thank you for that suggestion! Your criticism is extremely constructive and right on the mark. Though we’ve been working hard to improve our reliability and customer communication, we recognize that we still have work to do. The best way for us to meet customer expectation is to take their comments into consideration and implement them when possible into our processes.

      I have copied this entire response and sent it to the people in IT, Customer Care, and Corporate Communications who are in charge of the messaging that gets published with the global ETRs.

      Thanks again,
      Andre Francis
      Pepco, Social Media Representative

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