Utilities’ power outage mitigation strategies can play a large role in determining how members perceive their local providers. If you have an effective strategy in place to counteract an outage, this can build trust among consumers. Such a plan should be multifaceted, taking in every element of mitigation from quick detection and efficient restoration to constant communication with the public.
The relationship between utilities and members can come down to a few simple questions, such as “Why is the power going out today?” and “How long is the power outage going to last?” If you create an outage response system that allows you to answer those queries quickly and accurately, while working to get the lights on again, you’re well-positioned to please your audience.
The following are five parts that can go into your outage mitigation strategy. An effective utility today is one that embraces the transformative potential of technology and uses every advantage to become a reliable partner for local residents.
1. Collect data from multiple sources
Data is everywhere today, provided you know how to collect it. A modern Outage Management System can combine the information from multiple sources to give you a more accurate picture of the grid than ever before. A failure notification from an asset represents a timely alert that action is needed. Customer calls can also feed into the system – by mapping members’ calls with asset status notifications, you can build an accurate picture of a given problem.
2. Use geographic data for fast resolution
Information from client calls and assets’ automated alerts shouldn’t just exist in an abstract form. This data is most actionable when you map it onto geographical information systems. Pinpointing the likely location of trouble and creating an accurate utility outage map saves time and guesswork, enabling a fast and decisive response to a problem.
3. Give data access to your linemen
Linemen who have to contact office teams via radios or by making phone calls may spend extra time navigating to the site of a problem. An OMS with mobile application support mitigates this issue by giving crews a real-time view of the problem, matching the information being used in the office. When field teams know exactly where to go, and when personnel can monitor their progress the whole way, a resolution can be carried out effectively and safely.
4. Stay in contact with your members
Connectivity between an OMS and an interactive voice response system is a way to deliver satisfactory answers about an energy blackout. If people are calling from a place with a known issue, the IVR can give them that data without a representative having to pick up a phone at the call center, or push a notification to a client-facing app. This is an efficient way to build trust among your audience.
5. Incorporate post-outage considerations
After a power failure ends, it pays to keep up with the status of the affected assets to make sure they are truly sound. An OMS that enables employees to remotely ping the grid and monitor its status after a utility outage is well-suited to keeping the issue from recurring.