CHICAGO, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As northern Illinois awaits what is anticipated to be a severe and damaging winter storm, ComEd is preparing additional crews and equipment to respond quickly to expected power outages. In addition to ComEd crews, the utility's efforts include the mobilization of close to 200 contractor and mutual assistance crews in anticipation of up to 10 inches of snow and winds as high as 50 miles per hour that could potentially disrupt electric service for customers.
"This winter storm is expected to be especially damaging to our system as we face a potential combination of wind, snow and ice," said Terence Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer, ComEd. "We have increased staffing levels and proactively requested assistance from other utilities to ensure we are ready to quickly and safely begin power restoration efforts."
ComEd urges customers to contact the utility immediately if they are experiencing a power outage. To report an outage, customers can call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or report it through the website at ComEd.com or at Facebook.com/ComEd. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report their outage and receive restoration information. Customers also can follow us on Twitter @ComEd or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComEd to stay up to date on the latest ComEd storm restoration information. ComEd has also introduced a mobile app for iPhone and Android® smart phones that gives customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts.
Public safety is paramount during storms, and ComEd encourages the public to remember to take the following precautions:
- If you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or access our website at ComEd.com and report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
- Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
- Check on elderly and other sensitive family members and neighbors to ensure their safety and make alternate arrangements, if necessary.
ComEd also offers the following tips to help customers safely prepare their homes for winter weather, manage their energy usage and reduce electricity costs.
- Inspect the caulking and weather-stripping around all windows, doors and openings for utility services, replacing as necessary. Making these improvements could result in savings of up to 20 percent on annual heating bills.
- Have home heating systems cleaned and inspected by a professional each year to ensure safety and optimum efficiency. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure proper functioning.
- Keep three feet of space between space heaters and any surfaces that could burn, including walls and bedding. Choose space heaters with automatic shut-off in case they tip over.
- Reverse the rotation of ceiling fan blades, which should spin clockwise at low speed during the winter months, so the warm air that has risen can be re-distributed around the room.
- Visit ComEd.com and select "Use My Energy Tools" beneath the "My Usage" tab. Customers can evaluate past energy usage and learn about more ways to keep their homes energy efficient.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.