The Illuminating Company Completes Inspections and Maintenance Prior to Summer Season to Help Enhance Customer Service Reliability
AKRON, Ohio, June 11, 2018 -- With the upcoming hot summer months expected to produce higher electric usage, The Illuminating Company, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary, is completing inspections and conducting equipment maintenance in its northeast Ohio area to enhance service reliability for customers.
Helicopter patrols have completed inspections on more than 1,200 miles of FirstEnergy transmission line circuits located in The Illuminating Company area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be addressed.
On the ground, the inspections include using "thermovision" cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with The Illuminating Company substation equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.
Other utility work being done by The Illuminating Company crews includes inspecting distribution circuits, including transformers, capacitors, reclosers and lightning arrestors to ensure the equipment is operational and the lines are ready to perform efficiently when demand for electricity increases during the summer, typically due to air conditioning usage.
"When the days get hot and the nights stay humid, our customers turn up their air conditioning to keep cool," said John Skory, regional president of The Illuminating Company. "We proactively inspect and maintain our equipment to ensure system reliability to meet the increased electrical demand when the temperatures climb and customers depend on us to help them stay comfortable."
Tree trimming is another key to preparing The Illuminating Company system to meet the rigors of summer operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages. The Illuminating Company tree contractors expect to trim along approximately 2,100 miles of power lines by year end.
A team of The Illuminating Company and FirstEnergy employees also conducted a readiness exercise to test the company's 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.
For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
In addition to the work being done by company employees, summer also is a time when roofers, home builders, lawn service workers and other contractors work long hours. To help stay safe around electrical equipment while on the job, FirstEnergy offers important tips at www.firstenergycorp.com/contractorsafety.
The Illuminating Company serves more than 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Follow The Illuminating Company on Twitter @IlluminatingCo.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 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 more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting thermovision inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy customers are available for download on Flickr.
CONTACT: Mark Durbin, (330) 761-4365