The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) recognized ComEd with two Emergency Recovery Awards for its work to quickly and safely restore power to homes and businesses following powerful storms in northern Illinois in August 2021 and for assisting other utilities following ice storms in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. EEI represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, and its members provide electricity for more than 220 million Americans.
“These awards recognize the tremendous work of our 6200 employees to support customers in both our communities and those in need in other parts of the country,” said Terence R. Donnelly, president and COO, ComEd. “We continue to see the potential impacts of climate change in more frequent extreme weather events. Our work and investments over the past decade to harden the grid help to mitigate damage by this kind of weather and the time it takes to restore power to customers.”
In August 2021, a line of storms featuring wind gusts of more than 65 mph, hail and more than 5400 lightning strokes moved through ComEd’s communities, causing outages for more than 347,000 customers. Through the efforts of ComEd’s workforce and use of advanced technology on its power grid, ComEd restored service to more than 90% of affected customers within 20 hours.
In Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, more than 400 ComEd and contractor crews assisted in restoration following an ice storm that left more than 140,000 customers out of power. Crews experienced a wintry mix of freezing rains and snow throughout their deployment, with temperatures ranging from a low of 12 degrees to a high of 40 degrees. Crews worked 14 days to restore power to affected customers.
“This year brought several significant storms and other extreme weather-related events that impacted many customers and communities across the nation,” said Tom Kuhn, president, EEI. “ComEd and its employees worked around the clock following extreme storms locally and nationally to ensure that power was restored safely and as quickly as possible. I applaud ComEd and its employees for their unwavering dedication to the customers and to the communities they so proudly serve, and I am honored to present them with this well-deserved award.”
Presented to EEI member companies, the Emergency Response Awards recognize recovery and assistance efforts of electric companies following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s virtual winter Board of Directors meeting. ComEd was recognized by EEI along with its sister utility, PECO.