CHICAGO, Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) honored ComEd with two Emergency Response Awards for 2012. ComEd received EEI's Emergency Recovery Award for power restoration efforts after a significant storm that hit northern Illinois on July 1, 2012, knocking out power to more than 375,000 customers. Additionally, ComEd received an Emergency Assistance Award for its support of East Coast utilities restoring power after Hurricane Sandy.
"We'd like to thank EEI for recognizing our restoration efforts locally for our customers and nationally for those in need on the East Coast as a result of Hurricane Sandy," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. "This award is a testament to the dedication of our employees to improve our processes and safely and quickly restore power to customers, wherever they may be. I am grateful for their hard work."
Following devastating storms in 2011, ComEd assembled a task force to assess every aspect of its storm response process and benchmark against other utilities and industry best practices. As a result, ComEd put in place more than 60 storm response process improvements, which cut restoration times by more than 15 percent during this past summer's storms. Increasing first responders, using satellite technology and smart boards to more efficiently deploy and track response teams, deployment of a Mobile Operating Center that brings response teams to the hardest-hit areas, and embedding response planners within municipalities to more quickly identify and restore service to critical infrastructure are some of the changes that improved ComEd's storm response.
In addition, ComEd provided customers with new capabilities to report outages and receive outage status via two-way text messaging, a mobile app and a dynamic outage map on ComEd.com. ComEd also became the first in its industry to provide customers the ability to report an outage on Facebook.
In October 2012, ComEd sent more than 1,000 employees and contractors to assist its sister utilities, PECO in Philadelphia and BGE in Baltimore, with their restoration efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Crews from ComEd worked for three weeks in four states in difficult and dangerous conditions to help local utilities restore power to more than 9 million residents affected by the storm.
"This past year brought many unique challenges and I am proud of the way ComEd employees answered the call," said Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ComEd. "We saw great innovation from all areas of our company that translated into improved restoration efforts."
ComEd was honored previously by EEI for both emergency recovery and assistance. The utility received the Emergency Recovery Award in 2007 and 2008 and the Emergency Assistance Award in 2011 for restoration assistance after Hurricane Irene.
"ComEd was faced with major restoration efforts locally following the July 1 storm and in assistance following Hurricane Sandy," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "Getting the lights back on quickly and safely is never easy following these natural disasters. It takes strong commitment, advanced planning, and great execution. ComEd responded with all three. They're a great example for the nation's electric power industry. I congratulate them."
The Emergency Recovery and Emergency Assistance Awards are presented annually by EEI and recognize exceptional efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather or other natural events. A panel of judges chose the recipients following an international nomination process. EEI is the association of United States investor-owned electric utilities and industry affiliates and associates worldwide. Its U.S. members serve about 70 percent of the nation's electrical consumers.
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.