I wanted to give you a quick update on the largest reliability effort in our 116-year history. Our team has been working hard and it is starting to pay off.
Where we have completed work in Maryland and the District of Columbia, we have seen a 39 percent reduction in the frequency of power outages and a 56 percent reduction in duration. There is still work to be done but we are making progress. We are:
- Identifying feeders that frequently experience outages and replacing the portions that no longer perform reliably. A feeder is a power line that provides electrical service to about 1,100 customers within a neighborhood. We have already upgraded 124 feeders in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
- Trimming trees that are in danger of falling on power lines and cause power outages. We have already trimmed over 3,600 miles of trees and quadrupled the number of tree trimmers.
- Replacing aging underground lines with new and more reliable lines. We have already upgraded 2.1 million feet of lines.
- Installing technology that helps us quickly identify the source of outages and reroute power to speed up restoration efforts.
- Adding customer care professionals and increasing their training. We have already doubled the number of phone lines and trained professionals at our call center.
- Refining our outage maps to provide more detailed views of ongoing situations.
- Improving our process for estimating restoration time.
We have hired more than 600 employees and contractors – including both union and non-union personnel – since launching our five-year, half-billion dollar plan to enhance reliability. Additionally, we have donated more than $10.5 million to 675 organizations and our employees have volunteered nearly 33,000 hours over the last five years.
If you would like to hear it directly from our employees on the front line, here is a video of our team members describing their commitment to reliability:
We continue to give generously and invest prudently, and we pay the taxes we owe in accordance with all rules and regulations. Between 2008 and 2010, we paid nearly a billion dollars in gross receipts/delivery taxes, property taxes, county fuel and energy taxes, environmental, use and other taxes. We are audited every three years by the IRS and annually by our independent auditors.
I invite you to learn more about our reliability efforts by visiting http://www.pepco.com/reliability/. If you have any questions on what we are doing or why we are doing it, I welcome you to share them in the comments section. We are committed to improving reliability for our customers. Our work continues.
President, Pepco Region