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How PPL Electric Utilities is changing the reliability odds for the better

Jane George
Jane George

By Jane George, Regional Affairs Director, PPL Electric Utilities

Hurricanes have had names for 70 years. Now big winter storms get them. Go figure.

As I write this column just before Christmas, a powerful nor’easter – Winter Storm Gail – just left the region after dumping a good amount of snow and bringing gusty winds.

In the electric utility business, we’re always watching the weather, so we’re prepared to respond to any resulting power outages. Gail was no exception. Our crews worked safely and quickly to get the lights back on for affected customers. 

Two PPL workers standing next to power grid

The good news is our hard work and investments in a safer, more reliable, and resilient power grid are paying off in increased reliability for you. Outages are down 30 percent since 2011. And storms, whether named Gail or otherwise, don’t cause as many service problems today compared to even a decade ago.

Here’s why. We’ve replaced older equipment, put up stronger poles and wires, and have a state-of-the-art smart grid in place to automatically detect outages and instantly reroute power to shrink outage footprints and keep the lights on for more customers. Smart grid alone has prevented more than 1 million PPL customer outages since 2015.

Couple that with using data analytics for smarter, more efficient equipment maintenance and a comprehensive tree trimming and clearing program, and you have one of the most reliable grids around. 

Among our electric utility peers, we’re a national leader in reliability. That’s a good thing, but we don’t stop trying to improve your service. You rightfully expect that from us.

As we start a new year, you can be sure we’ll continue to innovate, looking for ways to make a very reliable grid even better. No matter what Mother Nature throws our way in 2021, you can bet the power grid delivering electricity to your home or business – and the people behind it – will serve you well.