Customers can report outages by telephone, online and by mobile device
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (May 31, 2012) The hurricane season officially begins June 1, but there have been two named storms already in 2012. Progress Energy Florida's storm response is ready year-around for whatever Mother Nature brings. Progress Energy has a detailed plan in place to activate employees directly involved with power restoration quickly and decisively in response to major storms. The plan also enables the company to mobilize thousands of other employees who train outside their normal jobs for storm-specific duties in support of restoration efforts.
"While the forecasters are calling for a less active hurricane season this year, it only takes one to disrupt our lives, so we work to prepare for every scenario," said Vincent Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. "We're prepared to respond in the event that major storms damage the electric system that our customers depend on. We know our customers rely on us to keep them informed and restore service quickly after storms."
Progress Energy works year-round to maintain the company's 35-county, 20,000 square-mile service area. In 2011 alone, Progress Energy invested thousands of staff hours and more than $162 million to strengthen its Florida system against storms. This includes the replacement of poles and other equipment upgrades to minimize the likelihood of outages when storms strike. This companywide focus has enabled Progress Energy to reduce outage times and speed restoration significantly over the years.
Options for reporting and tracking outages
Progress Energy introduced a new tool in advance of the 2011 hurricane season to help customers report power outages more easily. In addition to its automated outage reporting phone line, the utility has expanded its online resources to allow customers to report outages using computers and compatible mobile devices. From January 2011 through mid-May of this year, Progress Energy customers have used the company's website more than 8,000 times to report outages.
Customers can also call Progress Energy's automated outage reporting line at 1.800.228.8485. Progress Energy's automated outage reporting system is capable of handling more than 120,000 calls per hour.
For information on all of the utility's outage reporting options, visit progress-energy.com/storm. Progress Energy encourages customers interested in using mobile devices or computers to report outages to register in advance of storm season. Customers will need their account number, located on their bill, to register.
To keep customers informed following a storm, the company has developed an online outage map showing up-to-date information about current outages and estimated restoration times. The outage map can be viewed at www.progress-energy.com/outagemap.
Progress Energy also sends updates on storm-related outage restorations via Twitter and Facebook. Customers can follow Progress Energy at www.twitter.com/progressenergy and www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida.
Tips to stay ahead of the storm
Progress Energy urges customers to take steps now to be prepared in advance of hurricane season:
For additional storm information and safety tips, visit the Progress Energy website at www.progress-energy.com/storm.
Excellence in storm response
Progress Energy's commitment to excellence in storm response has earned the utility the Emergency Response Award from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) five times. Progress Energy also won the EEI Emergency Assistance Award for its role in aiding utilities and citizens in Texas and Ohio following Hurricane Ike in 2008, and in the Gulf Coast region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. In 2011, Progress Energy crews deployed to Alabama and Georgia to assist with restorations following destructive tornadoes that struck that region.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meet the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit www.progress-energy.com/.
Media contact: Progress Energy Florida 24-hour media line (866) 520-6397
Follow Progress Energy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ProgressEnergy
Follow Progress Energy Florida on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida