As we’ve all experienced, 2020 has been a year like no other. Our customers are dealing with so much stress and loss in their lives right now that they have little patience for losing power. Fortunately, our infrastructure investments and resiliency programs are paying off – giving us a year where our service to customers has excelled, hitting major milestones in our industry metrics.
Recently PSE&G was recognized by PA Consulting as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Customer Engagement Award; and, the 2020 ReliabilityOne® Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance in the Mid-Atlantic Metropolitan Service Area — marking the 19th consecutive year we have been so honored. ReliabilityOne® Awards are given annually to the utilities that have achieved outstanding reliability performance and have excelled in delivering the most reliable electric service to their customers.
Most importantly, PSE&G customers are showing their satisfaction through high marks on surveys, through their kind words and sentiments when they send our first responders thank you cards and letters and when they see us in their neighborhoods.
The challenges of the pandemic did not slow down our commitment to our upgrading and hardening our transmission and distribution facilities. This year, in particular, in addition to implementing new COVID-19 protocols, we embraced new technology including LiDAR to improve our vegetation management and a home-grown mobile app called MEGA that helps field workers quickly pinpoint equipment and retrieve data about it. So whether it’s someone assessing storm damage or conducting a routine inspection, we’ve increased our efficiency in finding broken or worn equipment and making repairs.
System upgrades also have increased our ability to take preventative action, with tools such as new algorithms, improved real-time system monitoring and better storm-impact forecasting. Of course, our Energy Strong program is progressing in its second phase where we’re adding smart technology throughout our territory and raising more substations out of flood zones. All of these efforts and more have reduced the number of outages and the duration of those outages that do occur. This means increased reliability for our customers.
In Customer Operations, we also continue to enhance customer communications, this year with the addition of Google Assistant[i] as yet another information network. And keeping all of our employees up-to-date on priorities got easier this year with the addition of a mobile app and Web-based portal that allows everyone to check in and stay informed. All of this is just a slice of the many other initiatives underway this year, including our focus on clean energy.
There are no words to express how grateful we are to our employees for all their efforts or to our customers for their patience, particularly in light of the pandemic. However, I do humbly thank our customers and the thousands of utility employees who contribute to PSE&G’s success each and every day.
[i] Google Assistant is a trademark of Google Inc.