Delmarva Power has taken essential steps to ready the local energy grid and provide customers with safe and reliable electric and natural gas this winter.
The local energy company completed the work to prepare for colder temperatures and wintry weather — part of the $428 million the company spends each year to modernize the local energy grid, perform maintenance and inspections and enhance existing infrastructure.
On the local electric grid, preparation includes inspecting and upgrading equipment; trimming trees, which cause about 40 percent of power outages; building new underground equipment; and installing stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable. Delmarva Power also continues to install smart technology that can automatically identify the location of damage, restore service more quickly, or isolate damage. Ongoing investments in the local energy grid have resulted in a 30-35 percent decrease in the frequency of outages for customers during the past five years.
Delmarva Power also has prepared its natural gas delivery system for winter. Seasonal preparation and ongoing investments include completing more than 50,000 seasonal leak inspections; inspecting and conducting preventive maintenance on equipment; modernizing more than 5 miles of existing natural gas mains each year; and refilling the company’s natural gas storage tank, which provides critical gas supply for customers. These efforts helped Delmarva Power meet record-breaking customer demand for natural gas in January.
As Delmarva Power prepares, customers are also encouraged to prepare. Delmarva Power tips:
— Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include battery-powered radio or TV, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, medications, multi-purpose tool, cellphones with chargers and list of important and emergency phone numbers.
— Apply insulation, caulking and weather stripping around the home to keep out the cold.
— Have a supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare, nonperishable foods available.
— Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of the home.
— Identify an alternate location to stay in case of extended outage.
— Review the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operations of generators. Do not connect a generator directly to the home’s wiring. Never use a generator indoors or any enclosed area.
— Download Delmarva Power’s app at delmarva.com/mobileapp to keep informed during a storm.
Delmarva Power’s preparation efforts also include conducting emergency response drills, testing computer and emergency systems, reviewing emergency processes and procedures and coordinating closely with government and community partners. The company also participates in collaborative emergency response exercises with its Exelon sister companies — Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, PECO and Pepco — to ensure each can provide seamless support during a storm. During the series of nor’easters in March, this coordination allowed crews from ComEd to quickly respond and support power restoration efforts in the hardest hit parts of the East Coast.
If a severe storm hits, residents are encouraged to monitor local weather reports regularly and follow the advice of local emergency management officials. Residents should report a downed wire or service issue by calling 800-898-8042, visiting delmarva.com or through the company’s mobile app. If the odor of natural gas is detected, residents should leave the area immediately and then call Delmarva Power at 454-0317.
For more, visit delmarva.com/storm.