Inspection and Maintenance Work Nears Completion to Enhance Service Reliability in Penn Power's Service Area for Customers Through Summer Season

24.06.24 22:20 Uhr

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Company offers tips for customers to manage rising temperatures and energy costs

NEW CASTLE, Pa., June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- With the hot, humid summer months expected to produce higher electric usage and potentially severe weather, FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Electric Company (FE PA), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) doing business as Penn Power in western Pennsylvania, is completing inspections and conducting proactive equipment maintenance across its service area to help enhance service reliability for customers.

Penn Power Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)

John Hawkins, FirstEnergy's President, Pennsylvania: "We proactively inspect and maintain our equipment to help ensure our system is prepared for increased electrical demand when temperatures climb. These important measures will also help to minimize the length and impact of service interruptions should summer storms cause power outages."

Penn Power crews are wrapping up inspections of its local energy delivery system to ensure electrical equipment is ready to perform reliably with elevated summer electrical demand, typically due to air conditioning usage.

Substation electricians use thermovision cameras during summer-readiness inspections to capture infrared images, helping to detect potential problems within substations and on power lines that cannot be observed during regular visual inspections. These images can identify equipment issues such as loose connections, corrosion and load imbalances, and utility workers are able to make repairs to prevent potential power outages in the future.

Watch a video on the company's YouTube channel of utility personnel conducting a thermovision inspection.

In addition, helicopter patrols have completed inspections of more than 300 miles of power lines owned by American Transmission Systems, Inc. (ATSI), a FirstEnergy Corp. transmission subsidiary, located in the Penn Power area. The inspections identify damaged wire, broken cross arms and other hardware problems not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspections will be addressed.

Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed along 400 miles of power lines as part of FirstEnergy's vegetation management program in the Penn Power area. Work remains on schedule to complete an additional 840 miles by the end of the year. Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment is critical to providing safe, reliable electric service and can help reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related power outages, especially those associated with severe weather.

Trees are being trimmed in these counties and communities:

  • AlleghenyWarrendale, Wexford
  • BeaverBeaver Falls
  • ButlerCranberry Township, Mars, Zelienople
  • CrawfordConneaut Lake, Hartstown
  • LawrenceEllwood City, New Castle, New Wilmington, Pulaski, Wampum
  • MercerGreenville, Jamestown, West Middlesex, Wheatland

In addition to equipment inspections and maintenance, Penn Power recently conducted storm-readiness exercises and drills to test the restoration process used to repair storm-related power outages. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years.  

With the summer storm season also comes higher-than-usual temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to beat the heat while also managing their electricity bill this summer. The following tips can help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:

  • Set thermostats as high as comfort will allow.
  • Use fans – moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
  • During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on windows facing the sun to prevent direct radiant heating from impacting interior temperatures.
  • Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home and to reduce the temperature before arrival back home.
  • Seal any leaks with caulk or weather stripping to prevent hot air from sneaking into your home.
  • Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced at home, the less work the air conditioner must do.
  • Payment arrangements and assistance programs are available for customers who need help with their electric bills. For more information, visit firstenergycorp.com/billassist.

Penn Power serves approximately 173,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania. Follow Penn Power on X @Penn_Power, on Facebook at facebook.com/PennPower and online at pennpower.com.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at firstenergycorp.com and on X @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting thermovision inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy customers are available for download on Flickr.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inspection-and-maintenance-work-nears-completion-to-enhance-service-reliability-in-penn-powers-service-area-for-customers-through-summer-season-302180814.html

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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