Apr
17

ComEd to Set Up Temporary Outage Centers

April 17, 2012

How many power outages did your metro Chicago real estate experience last year?

Massive storms caused major outages throughout northern Illinois last summer. In fact, at one point, more than 850,000 Chicago-area residents were in the dark for days.

After our mild winter, who knows what Mother Nature has in store for Chicago this spring and summer. So Commonwealth Edison has developed a plan.

comed truckThe utility company will establish up to 17 region-specific Joint Operations Centers (JOC) in communities throughout northern Illinois. The temporary offices will be set up within hours of a significant power outage, which is considered when 20 percent of the population is affected for three hours or more.

“After last summer’s severe storms brought widespread devastation and prolonged power outages to our communities, it was clear that we needed a better system to work with ComEd to ensure the timely restoration of critical facilities during a crisis situation,” said Christopher S. Canning, President of the Northwest Municipal Conference and President of the Village of Wilmette.

“We see the JOC process as adding great value to the power restoration process. For the first time, municipal representatives will have a streamlined system for working side by side with ComEd to get our communities up and running. As a municipal leader, I applaud ComEd for partnering with our communities to develop this important initiative.”

Preselected staff will be on hand 24 hours while a JOC is open, and the outlet will serve as a link between ComEd and community leaders and residents, who complained of getting little to no information from the utility company during last summer’s multiple-day outages.

“Staffed 24 hours a day by a ComEd restoration specialist and representatives from area municipalities until service to priority facilities is completely restored, JOCs will be nerve centers for local utility activity during service interruptions,” said ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore.

ComEd is also making more steps to open the lines of communication, including:

*A newly acquired, $1 million state-of-the-art regional mobile command center, which can be deployed to the worst-hit areas in a storm.

*A responsive text-messaging system to report outages and receive service updates.

*A revamp of the annual report summaries provided to municipalities.

The company is also working on a smart phone app, where you will be able to report service interruptions and pay your bill.

“ComEd has embarked on this unprecedented initiative to serve both business and residential customers better,” said Pramaggiore. “Working together with local municipalities, customer service will be more responsive and specialized than ever before.”

Let’s hope so. I can certainly do without seeing another food item I spent hard-earned money on go to waste because of an extended power outage.

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Tracey

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