BY ROD WALTON, SENIOR EDITOR
The name of the game in electricity transmissionanddistribution, likeany
industry, is to deliver, whatever the challenge. The annual Projects of the Year award
winners, as well as their runners-up, were
honored for their efforts to try new things in
delivering both information and power to
customers under any and all circumstances.
The editors of POWERGRID
International magazine, the official publication of the Distribu TECH Conference
& Exhibition held last month in Orlando,
and its parent company Penn Well Corp.
recently announced four winners for the
annual electric utility Projects of the Year.
Editor in Chief Teresa Hansen revealed
those winners live Monday evening, Feb.
8, during the DistribuTECH Awards
Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.
The winners in four categories–Grid
Optimization, Renewable Grid Integration,
Demand Response/Energy Efficiency and
Customer Engagement—spanned from
Hawaii to the Atlantic Coast, from the hearty
Midwest U.S. to the heart of Texas. They
were joined by runners-up from Canada,
California, New York and New England.
PPL Electric Utilities won the 2016
Customer Engagement Project of the Year
award for its Universal Outage Alerts. This
project was built on a smaller previous
effort, but this time included all of its 1. 1
million residential customers.
PPL’s assets and customers endure all
that a Pennsylvania winter and summer
can bring down. PPL’s Universal Outage
Alerts was built to let customers know
immediately that PPL is aware of a par-
ticular outage affecting them. Customers
know when the power was out even if
they are away from home.
Universal Outage Alerts filled a gap
in the company’s customer communica-
tions. PPL successfully launched alerts for
all residential customers in April 2015.
“Our proactive outage alerts have
received a strong positive response from
customers, and we appreciate this indus-
try recognition as well,” said Christopher
Cardenas, PPL’s customer services vice
president. “We continue to look for ways
to improve our service, keep customers
informed and make doing business with
PPL as convenient as possible.”
PPL’s Universal Outage Alerts also
works to significantly improve the accuracy of estimated restoration times.
When outages happen, customers want
to know that PPL Electric Utilities is