Nearly a month ago, Sen. Bob Casey wrote to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission seeking an investigation into why it took some utility companies more than a week to restore power after an October snow storm.
We caught up with PUC today for details on what utility companies have been doing — since before that storm — to increase customer communication and evaluate outages.
PUC press secretary Jennifer Cocher says there’s been an ongoing review since September, and distribution companies have been given some directives to assist with the process:
Provide a list of all outages lasting more than 24 hours within the past six months
Describe in detail efforts to restore power in those cases, including factors that hampered restoration efforts
Offer corrective actions planned or contemplated to reduce the frequency, scope and duration of outages
With all that happening, PUC has arranged public meetings and suggested new regulations while it reviews the materials utilities have been sending in. In the review that began after the late summer hurricanes, Cocher says PUC finds communication to be customers’ chief complaint.
Utilities continue to submit follow-up details to PUC while they implement corrective steps to keep in better touch with customer during outages.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional information from the Public Utility Commission.