Customer Service and Power Outage Response-People See Outages Differently

Everyone has experienced power outages. As contributing editor Paul Hull's article, "Out…But Safe, Customers See Outages in Different Ways," points out, if the causes of failure are beyond the provider’s control—-such as hurricanes, ice storms or violent weather—customers are more understanding.

2011 04 Up John Tabor

Everyone has experienced power outages. As contributing editor Paul Hull’s article, “Out…But Safe, Customers See Outages in Different Ways,” points out, if the causes of failure are beyond the provider’s control—such as hurricanes, ice storms or violent weather—customers are more understanding. There are different levels of outages and certainly different perceptions from both customers and utility professionals concerning outage prevention. Hull discusses accountability, transmission system capabilities, being prepared, the time it takes for different power sources to be returned to service, the importance of communication with customers and with the utility office organizing the repair schedule, and how utilities are respected for their willingness and ability to help each other in times of crisis.

Another great article, “Constructing a Community Wind Farm” by Robert Crowell, presents how small landowners, rural municipalities and utility companies are showing an interest in a smaller scale alternative to large, independent power producers—community wind (CW) farms. This emerging segment of the renewable energy market focuses on the development of smaller, distributed wind projects for sustainable sources of clean, renewable energy in which local owners are invested and maintain an ownership stake. While there are similarities in building large wind farms and CW farms, important differences exist at the front and back ends of the process. Crowell discusses CW farm construction and what takes place before ground breaking.

You won’t want to miss this issue’s “Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference 2011 Preview.” With the theme “Focused Strategies for Future Success,” the 58th annual Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (EUFMC) will take place June 19-22, 2011, in Williamsburg, Va. The conference will feature high-quality presentations to meet the information needs of utility fleet managers. Presentations will include: Emerging Market Update; News Standards for Cranes and Digger Derricks; Acquisition and Funding Strategies; Washington Update: Legislation and Regulations Impacting Fleets; and Utilization of Benchmarking Data to Define Success. EUFMC’s outdoor exhibit will be the site of more than 60 displays where fleet managers can meet with over 270 representatives from more than 95 manufacturers and service providers. Expanded to meet the need for larger equipment and growing interest in the conference, the 2011 showcase will also include indoor displays. EUFMC will provide a forum to discuss and share best practices by networking with fleet managers from investor-owned electric utility companies and electrical contractors from across North America.

2011 04 Up John TaborRegards,
John Tabor
Associate Editor
johnt@pennwell.com

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