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According to 2012 records, Commonwealth Edison’s (ComEd) reliability was the best in 15 years. The System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) comes in at 0.76, which means on average less than one energy interruption per customer. SAIFI It is determined by dividing the total number of customers interrupted in a time period by the average number of customers served. The resulting unit is “interruptions per customer.” ComEd’s SAIFI of 0.76 was achieved even through the two major storms that hit Chicago.
“Traditionally weather creates our most severe operational challenges,” said Terry Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ComEd. “That was certainly the case in 2012.” Not only did Chicago face intense storms during 2012, there were also 46 days during the summer that reached 90 degrees and higher.
When power was interrupted, ComEd was fast to react in 2012. On average, it took ComEd 87 minutes to restore outages. That amount of time is 32 minutes shorter than ComEd’s 2011 average. Additionally, the reaction time is 13 minutes shorter than the Chicago’s benchmark time.
Currently, ComEd provides power to 3.8 million customers in the Chicago area. Since 2012, ComEd has taken additional measures to ensure 2013 will be a smooth summer for customers. ComEd has upgraded equipment, replaced cable and wood poles, and improved storm response plans to prepare for the upcoming summer months.
As a consumer, when preparing for the summer months, keep in mind that comparing electricity rates and switching retail electricity providers can create lower rates for future bills. By switching, reliability will never change. Utilities, such as ComEd, will continue to maintain proper service for homes and businesses. The only real change is that customers will see a different rate for ‘electric supply’ on their bills.