PowerStream releases performance review of 2013 Ice Storm

VAUGHAN, ON – - VAUGHAN, ON – PowerStream recently released a comprehensive internal review of the utilityÂ’s response to the 2013 Ice Storm, identifying areas of strength as well as those that require improvement.

The 27-page report, independently assessed by Navigant Consulting Ltd., included a list of actions items to be completed no later than March 31, 2015. Many of the 35 items listed in the report have already been completed.

The purpose of the review was to enhance PowerStreamÂ’s emergency restoration and communication efforts and therefore the report focused on external communications, customer care, emergency restoration and capital asset management.

Key improvements include:

- Increase capacity of corporate website and online outage map

- Enhance the process to determine and communicate estimated time of restoration for outages

- Introduce a “one number” solution that combines the corporate and outage phone systems, including enhancements to the Interactive Voice Recognition System

- Implement an external call centre that could be utilized to increase the number of live agents during significant outage events

- Augment the process of utilizing smart meter functionality to improve the tracking of outages

- Provide recommendations for the “hardening” of PowerStream’s distribution grid to make the system more resilient to extreme weather events.

“The effects of climate change are becoming more evident with the number of extreme weather events,” said Maurizio Bevilacqua, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Vaughan. “A review of our response to the 2013 Ice Storm was undertaken to gather all of the information learned from this experience and to better prepare the utility to serve and restore power to customers when wide-spread outages or similar events occur.”

On December 21 to 22, 2013, a significant ice storm moved through Southern Ontario causing over 500,000 customers to lose power including 92,000 in PowerStreamÂ’s service territory.

The complete report can be found on PowerStreamÂ’s website: www.powerstream.ca.


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