LUMA
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LUMA's New Island-Wide Plan Strives to Improve Reliability and Reduce Outages

Sept. 14, 2023
The 12-month plan includes a series of projects and initiatives that will dramatically impact system reliability and improve customer service.

LUMA recently announced a “Building a Better Energy Future” 12-month work plan focused on improving system reliability and customer support services through a series of major projects and island-wide initiatives including vegetation clearing, substation modernization, grid automation, pole replacements and meter modernization, as well as new and enhanced customer tools and communications.

This “Building a Better Energy Future” work plan will build on LUMA’s historic progress over its two years of operations to create a more reliable, more resilient, more customer-focused and cleaner energy system for its 1.5 million customers across every corner of Puerto Rico. 

“Nothing is more important for LUMA than continuing to improve reliability and the service that we provide to our customers," says Juan Saca, president and chief executive officer of LUMA. "These combined initiatives, designed to build a better energy future, represent billions of dollars of investment into Puerto Rico’s electric system and are focused on improving overall reliability, as well as providing new ways to communicate and serve our customers in every municipality,” 

The new work plan comes under the strategic direction of Saca, who became LUMA’s CEO on July 1. For the past two-and-a-half months, he has focused on addressing the critical short and long-term needs of the company to rapidly and effectively improve the electric system for customers.  

Building On Progress to Date 
To date, LUMA has achieved a 35% reduction in service interruptions for customers compared to 2022 and the many initiatives announced in LUMA’s 12-month work plan will further improve system reliability for customers, increase community safety and transform the way LUMA supports and communicates with customers. 

Building a Better Energy Future: Reliability Improvement Initiatives  
The following initiatives and programs, which will begin or accelerate over the next 12 months, are focused on improving overall island-wide reliability each year going forward: 

  • Installing more than 5,000 grid automation devices to critical infrastructure by July 2024 to make outage impacts smaller and shorter.  
  • Clearing vegetation from more than 16,000 miles of powerlines over the next three years to reduce outages by 35-45%. 
  • Repairing and replacing 100,000 utility poles across the island over the next five years to increase resiliency and strengthen the system to better withstand high winds and weather impacts (i.e., hurricanes).  
  • Executing modernization upgrades at 50 substations over the next two years including the complete reconstruction of six major substations, which will lead to reduced blackouts and improved service reliability for customers.  
  • Installing more than 1.5 million next-generation Smart Meters over the next three years that will improve reliability and resiliency, enable faster and more efficient billing, shorten restoration times and support grid modernization. 

Building a Better Energy Future: Customer Communications and Support Initiatives 
The following programs will begin or accelerate over the next 12 months and will improve LUMA's customer service, communications, and community safety.  

  • Providing more transparent and timely updates around service interruptions through a recently launched planned upgrades website and roll-out of personal customer service SMS text alerts for unplanned outage reports by January 2024.  
  • Promoting more ways to pay bills and access financial support online and in person by November 2023, as a continuation of LUMA’s “We’re Here to Help,” public awareness initiative.  
  • Launching new energy savings programs in or by October 2023 to provide more access to information and resources to help customers control energy usage and lower monthly energy bills.  
  • Installing over 300,000 streetlights in 78 municipalities over the next three years to continue making communities safer, more accessible, more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly.  

LUMA’s Record of Progress  
Since June 1, 2021, LUMA has made real, significant and lasting progress toward building a better electric system for Puerto Rico, helping to make the next phase of progress possible. To date, LUMA has:  

  • Installed more than 1,500 automated distribution devices to identify service interruptions, reduce the number of customers impacted and shorten restoration times. 
  • Cleared vegetation from over 3,500 miles of T&D power lines to improve system reliability. 
  • Replaced more than 8,900 damaged poles to increase the reliability and resilience of the electrical system. 
  • Installed more than 49,600 streetlights to increase safety and energy efficiency in communities as part of our $1 billion Community Streetlight Initiative. 
  • Connected more than 64,000 customers to rooftop solar panels, representing more than 396 MW of clean energy, and averaging more than 3,000 new solar connections every month, the highest number in the history of Puerto Rico.  
  • Initiated 393 FEMA projects, representing $10.9 billion in investments, with 72 projects already in construction.  
  • Supported more than $108 million in critical financial assistance to support customers in need. 
  • Answered more than 4.9 million phone calls from customers, reduced the average call wait time to less than two minutes, in addition to serving over 4.5 million customers through LUMA’s customer service centers and launching improved self-service options.  

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