T&D World Magazine

Customer Feedback Guides Upgrades to Ameren 'Outage Information' Web Pages

Guided by feedback received from customers during last year's devastating storms, Ameren Corporation has now added several new features to its "Outage Information" Web page at http://www.ameren.com/. The new features provide more detailed information about power outages, even during major storms.

Among the changes:

  • Separate Missouri and Illinois Outage Maps. Ameren's popular "Outage Map" has now been split to more easily display Missouri and Illinois outages.
  • Greater Level of Detail on Outage Maps. Customers can now "click" to up to four levels of detail on the outage maps -- giving a better view of ZIP codes affected by outages.
  • ZIP-Code Alerts. During major outages alert messages will be added for affected ZIP codes on the Outage Map and in the company's "My Electric Outage" feature to provide additional detail.

In addition, Ameren continues its work to provide estimated restoration times for customers during major storms. The company plans to make available area-wide estimated restoration times during severe events. These area-wide estimates are meant to give guidance to customers in terms of when full restoration is expected; many customers may actually be restored before the estimated restoration time provided. Customers should now be able to obtain this information through the Web site and through the company's automated phone system during major storms.

"We continue to improve the estimated restoration times that we are able to provide to our customers during major storms," said Chief Operating Officer Tom Voss. "This is a challenge not only for us, but for the entire industry. But our employees thrive on challenges, and we look forward to continuing to be an industry leader in this area."

Last year, Ameren became one of a handful of U.S. utilities providing Web- based account-specific power outage information. The company has exhibited these tools at numerous conferences, "storm schools" put on for media, trade meetings and other venues so that others in the industry can benefit Ameren's technology.

"Our Web site gets more hits during storms than at any other time," says Voss. "Our customers expect to be able to get information from our Web site, even when they don't have power at home-through wireless devices, cell phones and work computers. The world has changed, and we are changing with it."

Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.

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