by James A. Bacon
Last month Dominion Virginia Power rolled out an interactive map that allows the public to report and track power outages and restoration. A nice touch, I thought at the time, but no big deal. That was before Hurricane Joaquin was bearing down on Virginia. All of a sudden, I’m very interested.
According to J.D. Power’s 2014 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, communications about power outages is an important factor influencing customer satisfaction. Ratings for the industry have improved steadily over the past six years, J.D. Powers said, as companies have taken to communicating outage information via utility-initiated phone calls, emails, text messages and social media sites.
Dominion has gotten the message.
“Next to energy, the most important thing we can provide to customers is information,” said Becky Merritt, vice president of Customer Service in the September press release. “This new outage map provides greater access to the information customers need to help us restore their power quickly in the event of an outage. It also provides information to help manage their lives and reduce the inconvenience.”
New features include:
- compatibility with most smartphones and tablets;
- icons indicating the number and general locations of work requests;
- customized views with street-level or satellite imagery and live weather radar;
- improved search options, including searching by landmarks or road intersections;
- faster updates— information refreshes every 15 minutes;
- option to bookmark multiple outage locations to follow restoration progress; and
- better tracking of a specific outage through the outage reporting system.
The outage map can be found here.
With an estimated three days before Juaquin arrives, Dominion is bracing itself. Hey, guys, special word of advice: Pay close attention to the Countryside subdivision in Henrico County. It took eleven days for electricity to be restored at the Bacon’s Rebellion global command headquarters after Hurricane Isabel. I’ll be blogging the hurricane — but only if the electricity stays on!There are currently no comments highlighted.