PPL Electric Utilities customers never even knew it, but nearly 200,000 power outages were prevented during the first six months of 2015 thanks to work the utility is doing to make its delivery system more reliable.
"Our investments are really paying off for our customers," said Greg Dudkin, president of PPL Electric Utilities. "As we continue to use technology and harden our system even further, people will enjoy even more reliability in the future."
PPL Electric Utilities has been installing smart grid technology, working harder to keep trees away from lines, and putting in stronger poles and wires – all with the goal of preventing power outages for the three million people in its service territory. The company is investing more than $1 billion per year in this work.
On average, customers are having 20 percent fewer power outages than they did in 2007. And, with the additional work planned, reliability is expected to improve by at least another 20 percent in the next five years.
"Our 2,300 employees work hard every day to provide excellent value for our customers," Dudkin said. "People depend on us, and we deliver."
To calculate the number of power outages that were avoided in the first half of this year, company reliability engineers looked at historical outage data over a four-year period, 2008 through 2011. This period was before PPL Electric Utilities began significant increased investment in technology, storm-resistant equipment and better tree trimming.
They projected that four-year outage trend forward, estimating how many outages there would have been in the first half of this year if no additional improvement were made to the system. Then, they compared that number to the actual number of outages PPL Electric Utilities customers had so far this year.
The conclusion: smart grid and other work to prevent power outages meant that residents and business owners were spared the inconvenience of 190,765 outages in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period in 2008 through 2011.