One of the biggest misconceptions that customers of PECO Energy Co. have about deregulation in Pennsylvania is that if they switch to an alternate retail electric provider in order to start saving money on their electric bills, there could be a decline in service or support, which could lead to service interruptions, and delayed repairs or slow responses to outages.
However, PECO customers aren’t taking any chances when they switch to a new electric supplier because PECO is still responsible for delivering electricity to customers’ homes and making sure everything works properly.
In fact, PECO will spend $1.1 million this year to inspect more than 39,000 utility poles located across its service area. The inspections, which will continue throughout the spring, are part of a reliability improvement program that includes regular inspections of PECO equipment, including poles, manholes, aerial wires, underground cables, transformers, substations, and other electrical equipment.
Every year, PECO inspects about 10 percent of its 387,000 poles, which means the entire inspection cycle lasts a decade. Because the utility completed a ten-year cycle last year, a new cycle will begin this year.
“Continuous monitoring, inspection, repair and replacement of equipment on our electric system are crucial to ensuring that our customers receive the safe and reliable service they expect and deserve,” said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services, in a news release.
“Preventative maintenance programs, such as our pole inspection initiative, help to reduce the frequency and duration of outages, improve the performance of our entire system, and keep our customers and crews safe,” McDonald said.
This year, pole inspections will take place in townships and boroughs in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
“PECO Inspecting 39,000 Poles to Improve Electric Service Reliability,” PECO press release, March 7, 2011.
“PECO Spending $1M to Inspect Utility Poles for Safety,” Philadelphia Business Journal, March 7, 2011.