PECO: Summer storms merit preparation

With a potentially higher number of severe storms predicted this summer, PECO has been working to ensure safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy and energy services for customers.

The company has invested more than $13 million in new technology and projects to prepare for heat and storms this summer, including upgraded substation equipment, new wires and poles and inspections, said a PECO press release.

“Every day, we work hard to provide safe and reliable service to our customers, no matter what conditions we face, and we prepare for severe, damaging weather all year long,” Mike Innocenzo, senior vice president and COO, said in the release. “Critical to our efforts is our use of new innovative technology like our advanced meters and enhanced communication tools that help us restore service faster and provide important information to customers when storms do occur.”

This work is part of more than $500 million invested each year in the company’s systems. In addition, through PECO’s System 2020 plan, PECO will spend an additional $274 million during the next five years to install advanced equipment and reinforce the local electric system, making it more weather resistant and less vulnerable to storm damage, the release said.

PECO completes hundreds of tasks to prepare for the summer season, including system work, testing and drills. And, as part of the Exelon family of companies, PECO now can draw on resources from sister utilities in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Illinois to restore power quicker after major storms.

As PECO prepares, customers should prepare as well, and the company offers these tips before severe weather hits:

  • Have a supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare, non-perishable foods available.
  • Charge cell phones and mobile devices.
  • Have a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of your home.
  • Visit peco.peco.com/alerts to choose how to receive information, via text, email or phone, including when power is out in their area, when service is expected to be restored, or when power is restored.
  • Text “ADDOUTAGE” to MYPECO (697326), to enroll in a two-way texting program to report outages and check their status.

If severe storms hit, a new online interactive outage map gives customers more information. Visit peco.com/outagemap or click on the “Outage Map” link in the “Outage Center” section of peco.com. Customers also can report or view the status of an electric outage through PECO Smart Mobile On-the-Go; just visit peco.com from a mobile device.

Higher temperatures can lead to higher energy bills, and PECO provides a variety of programs to help customers save energy and money. For example, PECO Smart Ideas, the company’s full suite of energy efficiency programs, helps residential, business, government and non-profit customers save energy and money.

In addition, customers can lower their bills this summer by following a few simple tips. Turn off all unnecessary lighting and devices, and keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level. Raise the thermostat setting for days of extreme heat to save even more. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home's temperature settings when you're away or sleeping. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows; simply closing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat in your home.

For those without air conditioning, use ceiling fans or portable fans with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air into your home. For those with air conditioning, fans can be used to evenly distribute cool air. Run appliances that produce heat (like clothes dryers, ovens and dishwashers) at night when it is cooler. For more ways to save energy, visit peco.com/smartideas.

 

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