FirstEnergy's eight operating utilities have completed inspections and equipment maintenance on weather-sensitive equipment across their designated service areas in preparation for winter.
Cold temperatures produce increased demand for electricity, and heavy snow and wind have the potential to cause damage to poles, wires and substations, requiring crews to make repairs in difficult conditions. Completing inspections and maintenance of equipment now can help to enhance system reliability when the snow begins to fly, according to FirstEnergy.
"Our winter maintenance procedures for equipment, combined with taking steps to prepare our vehicles for winter temperatures, helps enhance service reliability for our customers," said John Skory, regional president of The Cleveland Illuminating Company. "The more prepared we are for winter conditions, the more reliable our system will be."
Inspections and maintenance prep include:
- Critical substation components (including winterizing buildings and checking heating systems)
- Company bucket trucks and other vehicles (special emphasis on condition and supply of tires, as well as air braking systems)
- Snow removal equipment (plows)
- Transmission lines located in each service area (helicopter patrols of damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not visible from the ground)
- Tree trimming (maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages)
- Employee safety (cold-weather operational procedures are reviewed with linemen, substation electricians, and meter readers in advance of any frigid conditions)
Click on the links below to view specific details for each utility:
FirstEnergy's utilities also provide customers updates of service restoration efforts for power outages. The company's 24/7 Power Center outage maps now display the status of crews restoring service after a power outage. Customers can see when crews have been dispatched, when they are working on a repair, and when additional crews or equipment are needed to complete restoration work. This information is also provided through the companies' web-based outage information, and text messaging and alert services.