PHOENIX, NOV 30, 2018 -- In an unprecedented tie, two utilities received a National ReliabilityOne™ Excellence Award for their dedication to customers and for their power restoration efforts. PA Consulting (PA), a global innovation and transformation consultancy, presented the national awards to San Diego Gas & Electric and Florida Power & Light Company during the 18th Annual ReliabilityOne™ Awards ceremony held last night. Five additional utilities were also recognized for their outstanding reliability efforts.
Most U.S. utilities encountered difficult weather situations last year. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria lashed at utility grids while destructive wildfires and floods hit California. Yet our winners, hailing from both coasts, created resilient and safe grids that were able to stand up to environmental challenges. Both utilities mastered modeling and complex forecasting capabilities to understand environmental threats and accurately predict where storms and wildfires would hit. After the weather events, they were prepared and ready to rapidly restore power, meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
"This years' ReliabilityOne™ winners raised the bar for their customers in times of extreme emergencies and weather situations. The winners continue to layer in innovative and groundbreaking technologies to serve their customers and keep the power on in the face of these 'new normal' weather conditions," said Gregg Edeson, PA Consulting's ReliabilityOne™ Program Director.
Edeson adds: "Given the worsening storms and weather conditions affecting the U.S., in years to come we may even see utilities collaborating on storm modeling to bring an industry tool or approach for all types of weather events. Together we can work to create a positive lasting impact."
For 18 years, PA has been conducting reliability analyses of the nation's electric utility industry based on publicly available information on the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which provides the average outage duration per customer, and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI), which measures the average number of interruptions per customer. The indices showed a slight decrease in IOU (investor-owned utility) average system outage duration by almost five minutes in 2017 to 114.4 minutes, compared to the previous year. Key to the utility reliability trend data is PA's in-depth analysis undertaken as part of the process to identify the top performing utilities and winners of the National ReliabilityOne™ Excellence Award. PA is proud to work with clients that adapt and transform their technology and innovations to stand up to worsening weather conditions and achieve enduring results for their customers.
PA's certification and analyses of the utilities in the ReliabilityOne™ program found that:
IOUs in 2017 saw a slight decrease in average outage frequency compared to 2016.
Average SAIDI performance of the regional ReliabilityOne™ winners decreased by approximately 2 minutes from 2016 to 2017 and remains over 60 minutes better than the national IOUs average SAIDI performance.
Advanced utilities are becoming more agile and using innovative technology and automation to improve data capture and validation in outage related processes. ReliabilityOne™ winning companies are continuously pushing the boundaries to incorporate technologies and analytics that improve outage restoration processes.
Companies are starting to tap into the growing field of machine learning to help identify and mitigate problems on the distribution grid before outages are caused.
Utilities are increasingly using staff meteorologists to better predict how changing weather patterns (e.g. storms, fires, floods) are impacting their operations, and are utilizing this data to shape their responses to outages.
Utilities are taking full advantage of better communications to help keep customers informed throughout major event preparation and outage restoration processes.
The ReliabilityOne™ Awards recognize North American utilities that excelled during the 2017 calendar year in a number of critical industry categories, including reliability, storm response, technology and innovation, and customer engagement. PA's ReliabilityOne™ Awards are widely considered to be one of the most prestigious honors in the electric utility industry, recognizing organizations that provide their customers with the highest levels of reliability.
PA also recognized six regional ReliabilityOne™ winners from utilities across the U.S. based on overall system-wide SAIDI and SAIFI performance. One utility received the Outstanding Reliability Performance for Midsize Utility award, and additional categories honored the utilities that provided Outstanding Response to a Major Outage Event, Outstanding Customer Reliability Experience, and Outstanding Technology and Innovation.
A list of all winners are available at http://www.paconsulting.com/reliabilityone.