FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
KRISTIN RUDMAN, (202) 508-5155
The following news release is from the Edison Electric Institute
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (January 10, 2018) – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today presented Alabama Power with two of the association’s highest honors: the Emergency Recovery Award for its outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricane Nate hit the Gulf Coast this past October; and the Emergency Assistance Award for helping customers of other utilities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in August and September 2017.
These honors represent the 18th and 19th time Alabama Power’s work has been recognized by EEI.
“When disaster impacts a region, electric companies from across the nation are called on to assist impacted companies in need – mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “During a busy hurricane season, Alabama Power met the needs at home, and answered those calls for help. Alabama Power’s assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action.”
The awards are presented to EEI member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events, and in assisting other electric companies in power restoration efforts after weather-related service interruptions. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process. The awards were presented during EEI’s Winter Board and CEO Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“We know that customers depend on us to keep the power on, so we work hard every day to be ready for any situation,” said Mark Crosswhite, Alabama Power chairman, president and CEO. “Everyone at Alabama Power is committed to putting customers first, and we are honored to be recognized by EEI.”
Alabama Power employees first rolled out to Houston in late August, after Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 40 inches of rain on eastern Texas. A team of 25 specially trained employees were dispatched with airboats, drones and other equipment to overcome the challenges of heavily flooded areas. It was the first time Alabama Power used airboats or drones in out-of-state restoration efforts.
Only days after returning to Alabama, employees were called on again to assist neighboring utilities. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, they first restored service for more than 71,000 customers at home, and went east to respond to massive outages in Georgia and Florida.
More than 2,300 employees, support personnel and contractors helped Georgia Power Sept. 13-17 respond to the largest number of outages in Southern Company history, with more than 1 million customers in the dark due to Irma. In addition, Alabama Power customer service representatives worked from their home base, answering overflow calls from Georgia Power customers.
After the Georgia Power outages were restored, a smaller team of about 980 employees and contractors headed south to Florida on Sept. 17. There, they worked for the next seven days assisting Florida Power and Light in restoring service to the more than 400,000 customers who were still without power.
Employees and contractors were soon on the road again, but this time it was to respond to outages at home caused by Nate, which made landfall in Mobile on Oct. 7. In all, more than 162,000 Alabama Power customers across the state lost power.
As soon as conditions allowed, Alabama Power teamed with crews from 11 other utilities and worked three long days until power was fully restored.
“Our employees are effective in restoring power because they have the best training and skill set in the industry,” said Scott Moore, Alabama Power’s senior vice president of Power Delivery. “They take great pride in responding to storms and in delivering a level of customer service that is incredible.”
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.