PECO's Refrigerator Recycling Program

old-refrigerator.jpg

When Pennsylvanians get new, energy-efficient refrigerators for their homes, old refrigerators often get relegated to a support role in garages or basements. After all, the old models still work, and they can be used to chill drinks and snacks for a basement game room or for bulk-purchased foods that homeowners hadn’t bought before because they lacked the space.

Some consumers like to use things — cars, televisions, home appliances — as long as they can because they take pride in making things last, and, besides, they reason, smart consumers get value for their purchases and don’t buy something if they don’t need it.

There are a lot of old refrigerators out there as a result of this philosophy, and many of them are 20, 30, or even 40 years old. In fact, there are more than 27 million pre-1993 refrigerators still in use, and about 26 percent of all U.S. homes have a second refrigerator, according to 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Unfortunately, old refrigerators that keep on working are a big problem for consumers, as well as for utilities, which are trying to avoid having to build new power plants to handle the growing demand for electricity. Old refrigerators are terribly inefficient, and can use up to four times the amount of energy as a modern, energy-efficient model for the same amount of cooling. Hanging on to that old refrigerator costs consumers a lot of money — between $150 and $200 a year — and pulls a lot of electricity from power grids like the one owned by Pennsylvania utility PECO Energy Co.

PECO Helping Customers Save Energy

Thankfully, PECO’s new Smart Appliance Recycling program helps customers start saving energy and saving money on monthly bills by giving them $35 for their old refrigerators. The utility will even send a truck to pick it up and have it shipped to a “demanufacturing” facility in Hatfield that sucks out the harmful refrigerant for responsible disposal and prepares the 150 pounds of metal, 25 pounds of plastic, and 3 pounds of glass in an average refrigerator for recycling.

In its first year of operation, the facility has recycled 50,000 refrigerators with an average age of 22 years. Demanufacturing those refrigerators saved 85,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 7,000 homes for a year, according to Jaco Environmental, the company that runs the Hatfield facility.

So far, PECO’s Smart Appliance Recycling program has helped customers of the utility recycle 15,662 old refrigerators at the facility, which saved 27,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, the equivalent of planting 30,000 trees or taking 30 million miles of automobile driving off the books, according to PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel.

PECO’s Smart Appliance Recycling program will also pay customers $35 to recycle freezers and $10 to recycle room air conditioners.

PECO Smart Appliance Recycling Program Requirements

There are several requirement that need to be met in order to qualify for PECO’s Smart Appliance Recycling Program:

  • Homeowners must be PECO customers
  • Refrigerator and freezer size must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet
  • Units must be empty and working when they are picked up
  • In order to be picked up, units must be accessible by the removal team by a clear and safe path
  • Removal teams won’t risk injury, modify homes (remove doors and railings), or remove personal effects to remove units

Sources

GreenSpace: Cold War on the Inefficient Old Fridge,” The Philadelphia Enquirer, March 21, 2011.

PECO Smart Ideas website, “PECO Smart Appliance Recycling.”

PECO Rewards Electric Vehicle Owners and EV Technology Investors

Wednesday June 20, 2012
Posted by Spark Energy Staff at 15:42

Philadelphia-based electricity utility PECO announced June 4 that it will be rewarding customers who buy electric vehicles (EVs) or invest in EV technologies.

As part of the PECO Smart Drive Rebates program, residential and business customers who let the utility know that they’ve purchased an EV will get $50 from the utility, per vehicle.

The reward program also encourages investment in EV technologies that can make getting around town easier for EV owners.

Government, institutional and non-profit customers who install Level 2 public EV charging stations in the utility’s area will get a $1,000 incentive per unit, up to two units, to help ease installation costs.

Counties in PECO’s area will get up to $3,000 if they install a Level 2 public charging station.

 

Sources

PECO Gets Charged Up About Electric Vehicles!” MarketWatch, June 4, 2012.

Philadelphia Electric Vehicle Owners Get Public Garage Charging Stations

Monday November 28, 2011
Posted at 14:24
Tags: peco

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Philadelphia electric vehicle owners who work and play near the Philadelphia Convention Center now have access to the region’s very first charging stations to be installed in a public garage.

Parametric Associates LLC announced the installation of eight 2-plug EV charging stations in its public Convention Center Garage, located at the corner of 11th Street and Arch Street. The garage is near the Reading Terminal Market, The Gallery Shopping Mall and the Market Street Commercial District. The garage also serves guests of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. The stations will be able to charge up to 16 electric vehicles at the same time.

While plug-in auto manufacturers claim that most EVs can travel 50–150 miles before needing to be recharged, Parametric hopes that the quick-charging stations will alleviate “range anxiety” that Philadelphians may have when it comes to driving their electric cars around town.

Josephine Wang, executive vice president of Switzenbaum & Associates, an affiliate of Parametric Associates, said the company “put the cart before the horse” in its decision to offer the charging stations before the widespread adoption of electric vehicles because it wanted to offer convenient, secure 24/7 access to chargers. However, with an increase in the pre-orders of electric vehicles in the United States this year, Wang said the company’s quick-charging stations at the Convention Center Garage has laid the foundation for serving electric vehicle owners in the future and that the company expects to install additional quick-charging stations as the market demands.

Are you an EV owner living or working in Philadelphia? Will you be using the new charging stations? Share some tips for getting around town in an electric vehicle.

Source

Electric Car Charging Stations Installed at Pennsylvania Convention Center Parking Lot,” CityBizList, Oct. 18, 2011.

PECO Residential Electric Customers Continue to Leave Utility

Friday November 11, 2011
Posted at 11:38

Pennsylvania residential electric customers are continuing to leave their electric utilities to join one of the state’s many alternative electric suppliers.

According to the most recent statistics from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and Energy Choice Matters, PECO lost 2,700 accounts to alternative electric suppliers from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, compared with 2,500 accounts from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

Other electric utilities in the state also continued to see a steady stream of residential customers migrate to alternative electric suppliers, although at a slower pace. At West Penn Power, migration continued, but reduced from 1,400 during Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 to 1,000 during Oct. 2 through Oct. 8. In August, migration to alternative electric suppliers at West Penn Power was in the 4,000-customer range.

Migration also continued but slowed at Penelec, which lost 2,500 residential electric customers in early September but just 800 from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 and 650 from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8.

At PPL, migration slowed to 481 customers during the most recent week from 650 the previous week.

Sources

PPL Again Sees Net Decline in Residential Migration,” Energy Choice Matters, Oct. 13, 2011.

Pennsylvania Electric Utilities to Consider Longer-Term Fixed Rate Under New PUC Tentative Order

Friday November 4, 2011
Posted at 11:20
Tags: peco ppl

In Pennsylvania, the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is reconsidering how electric default service rates for residential and small commercial customers are adjusted.

Under current PUC guidelines, electric utilities such as PECO and PPL, which are known in the state as electric distribution companies (EDCs), adjust their default electricity rate quarterly, or once every three months. Under the tentative order from the PUC, EDCs would be required to adjust their default rate semi-annually, or once every six months.

The PUC’s tentative order, based on recommendations from the Commission’s investigation of the state’s retail market, is subject to a public comment period before final language is adopted. According to the tentative order, the PUC is weighing the benefits of six-month electricity rate and reconciliation adjustments versus three month adjustments.

The PUC’s tentative order is seeking comment on a series of recommendations that would go into effect June 1, 2013, when the EDCs’ next default service plans begin, which seek to align changes in retail market design with default service plans offered by EDCs.

Recommendations include filing default service plans that run for two years, limiting the proportion of long term contracts that make up default service plan energy portfolios — while avoiding mandating prescriptive contract lengths in portfolios — and incorporating an opt-in retail auction program within default service plans that would allow customers to indicate their willingness to be served by a retail electric supplier though an auction process. Other recommendations include incorporating a customer referral program within EDCs’ default service plans.

Sources

Pennsylvania PUC to Order Utilities to Consider Longer-Term Fixed Price,” Energy Choice Matters, Oct. 17, 2011.

Northeast Blizzard News

Monday October 31, 2011
Posted at 15:29

Some quick news on the snowstorm slamming the Northeast:

  • Anywhere from scattered traces to 30 inches of wet, heavy snow has been dropped from Maryland to Maine. Areas in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit, with 26-27 inches of snow dropped in Plainview and Windsor.
  • Power outages are widespread. More than 800,000 have lost power in Connecticut over the weekend. As of early today, 750,000 were still without power, along with around 400,000 in New Jersey, 200,000 in Pennsylvania and 270,000 in New York.
  • There have been fatalities associated with the snowstorm, with sources reporting between 10 to 12 deaths due to the weather. States of emergency have been declared in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and portions of New York.
  • Snow-laden trees falling have done more than just cut residential power delivery. Rail lines across the region have also been disrupted. Amtrak has suspended service on several routes, and one train from Chicago to Boston was stuck overnight in Massachusetts. A spokesperson said service would remain suspended until further notice from New Haven to Springfield; Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh; New Haven to St. Albans, Vt.; and between Albany and Boston.

A few other details on the surprise storm:

  • School districts across the region were forced to cancel or delay classes.
  • Some local officials have been forced to delay Halloween trick-or-treating, saying local sidewalks are unsafe due to fallen trees and power lines. Worcester, Massachusetts is asking parents to hold off on taking their children trick-or-treating until Thursday to give workers time to clear up fallen trees and power outages.
  • In a few ways, the damage from the storm could be long-term: New York City’s famed Central Park could lose up to 1,000 trees due to the storm, according to the group that manages the park.

To report outages in your area, click here for a full list of utility outage contact information.

Tips to Stay Safe and Warm

If you didn’t have a chance to winterize your home ahead of the storm, you’re probably not alone: given the early nature of this storm, lots of people were caught by surprise. Here are a few things you can do to stay safe and prevent additional damages to your home.

First off, keep your water pipes intact. One big concern on the part of lots of homeowners is preventing pipes from freezing and bursting. Make sure to set your faucets to drip, especially at night.

Right now, lots of people are looking to keep warm. If you are using a space heater or fireplace to keep your home warm, here are some safety tips:

  • Establish a three-foot safety radius around your heater, furnace, fireplace or space heater. That means that anything that can burn should be kept at least three feet from heating equipment. (The same goes for children and pets: the three-foot radius should be thought of as a kid-free zone.)
  • Make sure the screen in front of the fireplace is securely drawn to keep sparks from flying into the room.
  • It may be really tempting to use your gas oven for heating, especially if the electricity is out in your neighborhood. Don’t do it. Using an open oven in a closed house burns oxygen, thereby causing improper combustion of gas. The prolonged use of an open oven in a poorly ventilated house can result in carbon monoxide, which is odorless, invisible and potentially lethal.

Of course, the real challenge many New Englanders are facing right now is how to stay warm with the power out. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The first place to start: bundle up. Multiple layers of clothing, especially with wool or cotton, can help you retain heat. When you’re sitting still, wrap up in a quilt or blanket.
  • Stay in a smaller room in your home until power is restored.
  • Do you have curtains or blinds over the windows? Open them when the sun is shining, and close them when it isn’t.
  • Close off any unused rooms. Closing off any space between you and the outdoors amounts to a barrier between you and the frigid weather outside. It also reduces air circulation, which in turn reduces heat loss.
  • Roll up towels or shirts and stuff them into the bottom of doors or windows, or into any noticeable leaks.
  • If possible, put down a rug or carpet to create a bit of insulation for your floor.

Keep an eye on our blog for additional information on the storm.

Sources:

Winter Storm Slams US Northeast, Cancels Halloween” – GlobalPost.com, October 31, 2011.

Snowstorm Tangles Commutes in Northeast” – Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2011.

Early Snow Affects Millions” – Associated Press, October 30, 2011.

How to Stay Warm at Home Without a Heater” – Wikihow.com.

Heating Safety Tips” – National Fire Protection Association.


PECO to Raise Residential and Commercial Electric Rates Oct. 1

Thursday September 8, 2011
Posted at 08:16

Pennsylvania public utility PECO Energy Co. announced that it will raise its electric supply rate for residential and commercial customers on Oct. 1.

The residential supply rate will increase 7 percent, from 10.42 cents per kilowatt hour to 11.14 cents. The supply rate for small commercial customers will increase 5 percent, from 10.32 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.87 cents.

There are two main charges on PECO’s bills. The supply rate is for the electricity that customers use. The delivery rate is for delivering the electricity to homes and businesses, regardless of where it comes from. While the supply rate is determined by whether customers buy their electricity from PECO or an alternative retail electric supplier, PECO collects a delivery charge from every electric customer in its service territory.

Only customers who buy their electricity from PECO will be affected by the rate increase on Oct. 1. Customers that buy their electricity from a retail electric supplier will be unaffected.

In a statement announcing the rate increase, PECO recommended that customers use its supply rate, also called the price to compare, to see if switching to a retail electric supplier will save them money.

Sources

Electric Commodity Prices to Increase Slightly for Residential Customers,” PECO Energy Co. press release. Aug. 16, 2011.

PECO To Raise Electric Charges,” The Philadelphia Enquirer, Aug. 16, 2011.

How Long Will the Power Be Out After Hurricane Irene?

Wednesday August 31, 2011
Posted at 11:05

Ahead of the storm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noted that, "we do anticipate a significant amount of power outages with this particular storm." A FEMA Administrator agreed, saying that strong winds and flash flooding were expected to impact those inland as well as along the coast.

With some estimates that over 4 million homes and businesses were without power in the wake of Hurricane Irene across the Eastern Seaboard, we can see that predictions of mass power outages across the region came true for many.

Hurricane Irene Heavily Impacted the Electric Grid

A US Department of Energy report released Monday morning collected data from utilities’ outage information and helped give us an overall view of the impact of Hurricane Irene:

  1. Rhode Island – 64% of customers out
  2. Connecticut – 44% of customers out
  3. Maryland – 22% of customers out
  4. New Jersey – 20% of customers out
  5. New Hampshire – 20% of customers out
  6. Massachusetts – 19% of customers out
  7. Virginia – 19% of customers out
  8. New York – 12% of customers out

Please continue to report outages – utility systems can locate generalized outages, but it can be difficult to pinpoint specific outage locations. To find contact information for your utility, see our list here.

When Will My Power Be Back On? How Many People are Still Out?

Philadelphia: 225,000 were without power in Eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, according to PECO. Bucks County reports 81,000 outages; Delaware County 64,000; Chester County 57,000; Montgomery County 14,000; and Philadelphia County 9,000 outages. PECO says they’ve already restored power to 300,000 customers and that 90% of the remaining outages should be repaired by Today. The remainder can expect their power to be back on before the weekend. SEPTA reports having three train routes out: Cynwyd, Trenton, and Paoli/Malvern. The Norristown line is reported to have begun running Monday afternoon. UPDATE: PECO now reports 47,000 out of power on Wednesday morning throughout the region.

New York City: More than 106,000 of ConEdison’s 3.2 million customers remained without power as of Monday afternoon. ConEdison intentionally cut electricity to some of its service area prior to the storm due to expected saltwater inundation of electrical equipment. ConEdison estimates that most customers in New York City will have power returned by Tuesday and most Westchester County residents should be restored by Thursday. ConEdison is supplying dry ice in several locations to help keep food refrigerated. MTA trains and busses were almost back up to normal by early Monday morning, including the Staten Island Train starting back up Sunday night. UPDATE: 32,000 outages are reported Tuesday evening. ConEdison says 83% of customers have been restored.

Long Island: The Long Island Power Authority said 400,000 customers were without power on Monday. 90% of these homes and businesses can expect to have power by Friday, with the remainder restored by the weekend or early next week, according to a LIPA representative. UPDATE: 190,000 are still out of power on Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk counties, about 16% of all customers. "Irene left behind a level of damage that we have not seen on Long Island in almost 30 years," the public utility said.

New Jersey: 715,000 utility customers were reportedly without power Monday morning across the state. 60,000 of those being within the PSE&G service territory. Crews with PSE&G are prioritizing downed lines and other emergencies. PSE&G and Jersey Central Power & Light said that rivers must recede before service can be restored. "That takes days," PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson said. "The flooding is kind of overwhelming." UPDATE: PSE&G reports 74,000 customers out, about 4% of its 2.1 million customers. Jersey Central Power & Light still shows 187,000 outages – about 20% of their 1.1 million customers. "Currently there are 200 poles and almost 40 miles of wire that need to be replaced before we complete our restoration," said JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano.

Connecticut: 594,000 CL&P customers and 107,000 UI customers were out of power at noon on Monday. Connecticut Light & Power had restored 163,000 customers and a spokesman said that crews had responded to hospitals and police/emergency facilities first. The 770,000 outages at the height of the storm set a new record, breaking the previous record of 477,000 outages after Hurricane Gloria in 1985. Governor Malloy and CL&P officials said that it could be a week before customers get their power back on. "This is just unprecedented," the utility's spokesman, David Radanovich, said. "The largest storm we've ever faced." UPDATE: 370,000 utility customers still remain out of power in Connecticut – 308,000 of which are CL&P customers. 62,000 United Illuminating customers are out as of Wednesday.

Baltimore: Approximately 139,000 customers within the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) territory were out of power as of Monday. About 680,000 lost power at some point during Irene, with 466,000 being the highest number of simultaneous outages. BGE has restored power to 327,000 customers in less than 48 hours and expects to restore the majority of the remainder of outages by late Friday. Isolated outages may remain until Saturday. "Just lots of trees down," said Linda Foy with Baltimore Gas & Electric. "We've got whole trees knocked into equipment; large limbs the size of small trees hanging on power lines." UPDATE: 155,800 outages still exist for BGE customers, as of 6am Wednesday. BGE spokesman Rob Gould told WBAL-TV that most customers should get electricity back on today.

Delmarva Peninsula: 40,000 Delmarva Power customers were reported out of power Monday. At the height of the storm, about 220,000 customers were without power and the company expects to restore power to the majority of these customers by Wednesday. UPDATE: Delmarva Power says that about 5,000 customers are still out of power as of midnight, Wednesday. About 97% of the 164,000 who had lost power have been restored.

Washington DC: 71,000 power outages still exist in the PEPCO service territory as of Monday, including about 16,000 in Montgomery County; 44,000 in Prince George’s County; and 21,000 in Washington D.C. PEPCO said customers can expect power to be on by Thursday evening, but most customers can expect the power to be on sooner. UPDATE: As of Tuesday afternoon, PEPCO reported about 4,000 customers still out in Prince George’s County. "We will be done by Thursday at 7 p.m.," says Thomas Graham, Pepco president. "All customers will be restored. That's the goal we're shooting for. The vast majority of our customers will be restored before then."

Boston: 500,000 customers in the region lost power at the height of the storm. National Grid reports about 325,000 outages and NStar is reporting 200,000 outages as of Monday afternoon. “The damage is so extensive that in many places, we essentially have to re-build the electric system so we can restore power to customers,” said Werner Schweiger, NStar’s senior vice president of operations. “Given the sheer amount of work to be done, we know this will be a very time-consuming process.” UPDATE: About 108,000 outages still exist in Massachusetts towns according to National Grid on Wednesday. NStar reports 37,000 customers offline in the South Shore and Cape Cod areas.

Virginia: 270,000 customers in the Richmond area were still out of power Monday afternoon. Dominion Virginia Power has said it plans to have 75 percent of customers restored by Today, and 90-95 percent restored by Friday. Remaining outages should be repaired by Saturday. UPDATE: 180,000 in central Virginia remain without power, about 40% of the Richmond and Tri-City areas. 69,501 customers have been restored according to Dominion Virginia Power. Dominion spokesman Chet Wade said that they’re ahead of pace to meet their Friday goal of restoring power to all customers.

Rhode Island: 282,000 National Grid customers in Rhode Island are reportedly in the dark as of Monday Morning. The state was the most heavily impacted by Hurricane Irene, with 64% of customers out of power. UPDEATE: 113,000 were still reported out of power by Wednesday morning. "What you see here is a 24 hour operation with more than 1,000 people restoring power here in Rhode Island. We're getting customers back as quick as we can," Tim Horan, President of National Grid.

Vermont: 37,500 of 55,000 Central Vermont Public Service customers were still without electricity as of 7 a.m. Monday morning. “We have a tremendous roster of workers to assist us, but this will be one of the most challenging recovery efforts any of us has ever lived through,” said Joe Kraus, senior vice president for engineering, operations and customer service. Kraus said that customers should be prepared for extended outages, as roads and bridges in some areas are still impassable. UPDATE: 14,300 customers are still report off the grid as of Wednesday morning.

New Hampshire: 5,300 customers in the New Hampshire Electric Co-op territory were still without power on Monday, down from a high of 32,000 on Sunday night. Estimated restoration times range from noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday. UPDATE: Public Service Co. of New Hampshire reported 29,000 outages at noon on Tuesday, and New Hampshire Electroc Co-op is reporting 1,600 remaining. National Grid is reporting 11 outages, and Unitil has restored all New Hampshire customers.

Maine: 149,000 customers in Maine were reportedly still out of power Monday afternoon, with 137,000 customers of Central Maine Power, and 12,000 Bangor Hydro-Electric customers in the dark. Utility crews from Canada joined Maine’s own utility crews to help restore power. Maine Public Service customers had all power restored to all customers by late Monday. UPDATE: 44,000 Central Maine Power customers remain out of power Wednesday morning. Bangor Hydro reports less than 270 customers without power.

Sources

"Power outages continue across Maryland" - Baltimore Business Journal, August 29, 2011.
"Power Outages, Trains Biggest Irene Issues" - myfoxphilly.com, August 29, 2011.
"Is Con Edison Doing Enough to Repair Power in Your Area?" - White Plains Patch, August 29, 2011.
"4M without power as Hurricane Irene heads north" - Associated Press, August 28, 2011.
"Napolitano warns of many power outages from Irene" - Reuters, August 26, 2011.
"In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, flooding, power outages and road closures are causing headaches" - Newark Star-Ledger, August 29, 2011.
"Hurricane Irene still has 225,000 Peco customers powerless" - Philadelphia Business Journal, August 29, 2011.
"BGE expects to restore most service by Friday" - abc2news.com, August 29, 2011.
"HURRICANE: Delmarva Power continues restoration efforts" - delmarvanow.com, August 29, 2011.
"Post-Irene power, transport problems linger in MD, D.C." - Reuters, August 29, 2011.
"Lights Coming Back on For Some" - Groton Patch, August 29, 2011.
"Power outages, flooding from Irene in Massachusetts" - USA Today, August 29, 2011.
"Thousands without power, bridges closed as state cleans up after Irene" - Bangor Daily News, August 29, 2011.
"Irene Leaves Western Towns Flooded, Thousands Without Power" - thebostonchannel.com, August 29, 2011.
"After the storm, towns steamed at utilities’ slow response" - Herald News, August 29, 2011.
"CVPS: Full restoration of 37,500 outages statewide could take weeks" - vtdigger.com, August 29, 2011.
"UPDATE: Dominion says 90-95% of outages to be fixed by Friday" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 29, 2011.
"BGE: 80% Of Power Back On For Customers" -wbaltv.com, August 31, 2011.

Stuff the Bus: Supporting Schools in Philadelphia

Friday August 26, 2011
Posted at 11:06

With kids headed back to school, we wanted to help students in low-income and homeless situations. So we pitched in on Stuff the Bus, a program run through UWSEPA (the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania). This year UWSEPA went in with Cradles to Crayons' "Backpack-a-Thon" to help provide more than 15,000 area students with school supplies.

Stuff the Bus - help kids in Philadelphia

Check our communities on Facebook (SparkEnergyPA and SparkEnergyNJ) and Twitter (@SparkEnergyPA and @SparkEnergyNJ) to help donate.

Helping provide school supplies for underprivileged students in Philadelphia

More from the press release here.

Hurricane Irene: How Utilities are Preparing

Friday August 26, 2011
Posted at 08:06

Hurricane Irene is forecast to be a Category 3 or Category 4 storm by the time it makes landfall on Saturday evening. Major utilities in the region expected to be hit by the storm are already preparing.

PECO in the Philadelphia area is placing all crews on stand-by and securing local contractors in preparation for Hurricane Irene. PECO is also arranging for support from its sister utility, ComEd in Chicago, to be in the area for added assistance.

Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) says they’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, cancelling all vacations and placing all staff on standby. “CL&P has a comprehensive plan to respond to Hurricane Irene-caused problems in Connecticut,” says Jeff Butler, President and Chief Operating Officer of CL&P. Like PECO, CL&P is also coordinating regionally, “Our parent company, Northeast Utilities is coordinating for us and our sister companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to secure both additional line crews and tree crews to expedite restoration,” Butler adds.

New York City’s Office of Emergency Management was continuing to closely monitor the storm. "The city has already seen the power of Mother Nature once this week, and Mother Nature may not be done with us yet," said New York Mayor, Michael Bloomburg.

PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest utility issued a press release announcing it is closely monitoring the track of the hurricane and making emergency preparations should “the storm bring heavy rain and strong winds to our service territory.” PSE&G also plans to have all available personnel ready to respond, staging poles and extra equipment in areas ready for prompt response. “Depending on the severity of the storm, response times for both electric and gas emergency services may be longer than usual. PSE&G asks for our customers' patience and cooperation as we work to safely restore service as quickly as possible,” said the press release.

In Baltimore, BGE spokeswoman has requested through a mutual assistance network that 500 additional lineman and support staff be dispatched to BGE's coverage area. The 158 crews from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee are expected to arrive before the weekend. According to spokeswoman Rachael Lighty, "we are monitoring this storm and taking proactive steps in order to be prepared should major outages occur," Lighty said. "We haven't seen a hurricane of this magnitude for several years so we're asking our customers to prepare."

Sources

"Before, During and After a Hurricane" - PhillyBurbs.com, August 25, 2011.

"CL&P Says It's Preparing for the Worst and Hoping For The Best" - Ridgefield Press, August 25, 2011.

"Hurricane Irene New York: Mayor Bloomberg Warns of Possible Evacuations" - International Business Times, August 25, 2011.

"PSE&G Prepares for Hurricane Irene" - Marketwatch, August 25, 2011.

"Agencies Tell Residents to Prepare for the Threat of Hurricane Irene" - Carroll County Times, August 24, 2011.