.

Pepco Self-Assessment Defends Storm Response

Pepco's recently released report on outages following last month's storm is mainly in defense of the company's response.

Pepco has released a report largely defending its response to outages caused by .

According to the report, at its peak, the to over 483,639 Pepco customers, including 252,018 in Montgomery County and 158,210 in Prince George’s.

One week later, the report shows 4,411 Montgomery County Pepco customers were still without power, as were 424 Prince George’s customers.

It took Pepco nearly 10 days to fully restore power to all its customers. That occurred at 4:30 a.m. on July 8, according to the report. 

Read the full report PDF on the right. 

In the self-assessment, Pepco defends its response, writing that forecasts did not predict that the storm would hit the area hard, but “when the Derecho crossed the mountains intact, Pepco mobilized quickly, calling on both internal and external resources to respond to the storm.”

But The Washington Post reports that Pepco's assessment may only further frustrate customers who felt the utility underperformed.

“It’s more excuse-making,” Del. Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery), told The Post. “The problem is not the system or the expectations of customers. The problem is Pepco.” 

The report also addresses the utility company’s communications with customers and government officials throughout the week, as well its inability to provide accurate estimations for power restoration.

The company wrote that it recognized “significant additional work remains to be done” to provide better and earlier estimates.

In defense of Pepco's communications efforts, the report includes multiple examples of news releases and media advisories and cites eight daily conference calls with government officials. 

However, Pepco’s telephone report shows that between June 29 and July 8, the number of incoming calls to Pepco was at its peak of 273,912 on June 30, and of those calls, 217,472 were handled by the high volume call answering system, compared to 24,626 handled by representatives.

Officials in multiple jurisdictions, including Montgomery County and , have on numerous occasions.

According to the Maryland Public Service Commission, a public hearing focused on Pepco’s response following the storm is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 7 in Rockville.

The hearing will take place in the Montgomery County Council office building at 100 Maryland Ave. at 7 p.m. Residents who want to speak at the hearing should register that evening at the council office building.

macadoodle July 31, 2012 at 08:48 PM
The expected whitewash. And the politicos will rant & rave and do absolutely nothing, nado, zilch. The electorate will forget and elect the same old one-party system to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Guess this is the definition of a progressive state? All PEPCO has to say in its self-evaluation is: “significant additional work remains to be done” to provide better and earlier estimates." How about a new utility company?
The Big Egg July 31, 2012 at 09:31 PM
PEPCO--answer this question directly and without dodging. Did other utilities get assistance from a larger number of repair crews? If so, why?
Jerry July 31, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Customers, especially those in private residences, who experience outages should be encouraged to purchase emergency generators. They should receive tax credits from the State and from the County for the purchase price, and tax deductions for maintenance and operation. That should motivate the State and County to do something more substantive about power outages.
Stacey Lynch July 31, 2012 at 10:54 PM
What's even worse is that despite the 5 and 1/2 days without power, my pepco bill was higher this month than in previous months!
Joe Thomas August 01, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Why no huge outcry about BG&E? They took longer to restore power using more manpower.
Midge August 01, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I HAVE USED PEPCO FOR 47 YEARS, WHY SHOULD PEPCO BE BLAMED FOR THE BAD WEATHER WE HAD, IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE FOR ALL OF US, I PRAISE PEPCO EMPLOYEES THAT HAD TO GO OUT IN THAT WEATHER AND FIX SOMETHING WE TAKE FOR GRANTED, WHEN THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH POWER NOTHING IS SAID, NOT EVEN A THANK YOU TO PEPCO. I REMEMBER WHEN I LIVED IN A HOUSE THAT HAD NEITHER ELECTRICITY, BATHROOM OR WATER, I SURVIVED AND IT TAUGHT ME TO APPRECIATE THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE. BEING WITHOUT POWER FOR A FEW DAY DID NOT BOTHER ME AT ALL. THANKS AGAIN PEPCO FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DO. I WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOU.
Diana Combs August 01, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Midge, I understand your response . . . I doubt anyone would have too many bad words to say about the utility workers who worked tirelessly to clear debris and fix power lines. I am certainly not upset at the employees. The Pepco work crew that arrived on Day 5 after the storm to finally lift and remove the tree in front of our house were clearly exhausted from working through the night. After a very professionally handled tree and wire removal, they passed out on the lawn across the street. My husband and I went out and brought them icy waters we had in our cooler and thanked them for their hard work. I think the issue is with Pepco as a company and how they are managed. That poor crew was exhausted. Certainly no one could have predicted this derecho storm would be so severe, but remember, this is not the first storm that power restoration was an issue, there have been many others. So it's the culmination of their responses that people are upset about. It's the way they advertised phone lines to call, only you would call and never get a response or human to speak too . . . it's the way their website crashed for days throughout the storm recovery when they specifically asked people to report outages there. So it's the management, not the everyday hard workers that are the issue.
Albert Van Thournout August 01, 2012 at 06:52 PM
This is like asking the devil to assess whether he's ever led anyone into sin.
Albert Van Thournout August 01, 2012 at 06:54 PM
This is not a criticism of the men and women who worked to restore power; it is aimed at those who direct Pepco, who make decisions about allocation of resources over profits for stockholders, who spend millions pedaling their wretched lies and distortions about the quality of service.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something