Situations may exist where BGE believes it has restored power based upon information received, only to find that another unknown problem exists, impacting service
Customers who have been without service the longest receiving restoration priority
BALTIMORE, Sept. 3, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has restored electric service to nearly all of the 750,000 customers affected by Hurricane Irene and is aggressively working to restore service to the remaining customers. The outages being addressed today are primarily associated with work that is specific to the individual customer’s home or business which, in most cases, could not have been safely completed before the main lines and other upstream equipment had been repaired. BGE is prioritizing today’s restoration efforts based upon those outages that have been in BGE’s outage management system the longest period of time. However, there may be instances where BGE believes it has restored power based upon information received, only to find that another problem that the utility is unaware of exists, impacting a particular residence or business. Important restoration information is available via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
“BGE crews continue to aggressively work to restore power to the last few thousand customers impacted by Hurricane Irene,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning, BGE. “There are instances where BGE believes it has restored service to a particular customer only to find another problem exists that neither the utility nor the customer was aware of, thereby hampering restoration. An example of this would be when a feeder that provides power to hundreds of customers has been restored, only to find that an individual customer’s service remains out as a result of damage to the wire that runs from a utility pole to their home. This example is just one of many that our crews are encountering, impacting the restoration effort.”
The utility urges customers whose service has not been restored to report their outage by calling 877-778-2222.
“BGE has prioritized today’s restoration based upon those outages that have been in our system the longest,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “We will continue to staff our customer call center at increased levels to efficiently handle customer calls relating to extended outages from Hurricane Irene, as well as new outages being reported as a result of today’s storm activity. Restoration of new outages occurring today as a result of storm or other activity may be delayed as Hurricane Irene restoration remains our top priority.”
Hurricane Irene was one of the most damaging storm’s in BGE’s history, interrupting electric service to approximately 750,000 customers, some of whom lost power multiple times. Notwithstanding the many customers who experienced extended outages, BGE successfully restored electric service to the vast majority of its affected customers within five days of Hurricane Irene’s passing.
Well in advance of the storm’s arrival in Central Maryland, BGE proactively secured additional resources to ensure it could begin the monumental restoration effort as soon as it was safe to do so. Throughout the restoration efforts, the utility continued to acquire additional out-of-state linemen and support staff as they became available. In all, more than 2,300 external resources from 18 states are actively engaged in the restoration effort. Assistance has been provided by utility and contract employees from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
BGE has also been very aggressive with its communication to customers. Days in advance of the storm, attempts were made to contact all 1.2 million BGE customers advising them of the hurricane’s approach and potential impact, reminding them to stay prepared, and advising them of the likelihood that the restoration effort would last multiple days. Customers identified in BGE’s system as special needs also were contacted an additional time and reminded to have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended outage. Crew locations and other important restoration information have been and will continue to be made available via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
BGE’s balanced approach to service restoration ensures crews work simultaneously in every jurisdiction where BGE has customers, addressing public safety and critical infrastructure issues across BGE’s Central Maryland service area. As part of BGE’s standard process during major events such as Hurricane Irene, the company continues to maintain regular communication with state and local public and elected officials and emergency operations centers, helping to ensure a coordinated effort between the jurisdictions and the utility.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.