The ReliabilityOne® Awards recognize North American utilities that excelled during the 2019 calendar year in a number of critical industry categories, including reliability, storm response, technology and innovation, and customer engagement. Founded in 2000, PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne® Awards are widely considered to be one of the most prestigious honors in the electric utility industry, recognizing organizations that provide their customers with the highest levels of reliability.
Gregg Edeson, PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne® Program Director, said: “We are pleased to name Florida Power & Light as the most reliable U.S. utility for their world-class customer service, ingenious technology advancements, and power restoration efforts. Florida Power & Light are industry leaders when it comes to serving their customers in extreme weather situations. They have implemented innovative technologies to create 24/7 situational awareness of their systems and customers’ status, ensuring that they are quickly able to get the lights back on when storms approach or the power goes out.”
For 20 years, PA’s ReliabilityOne® program has been conducting reliability analyses of the nation’s electric utility industry. The trend lines show that U.S. outages have worsened slightly over the past two decades. Storms and wildfires are causing more power interruptions as a consequence of climate change. However, after the 2004-2005 Hurricane season, utilities around the country started hardening programs to build more resilient grids which have lessened the impacts of these severe weather events.
Gregg Edeson added: “PA is proud to work with utilities that adapt and transform their technology and innovations to stand up to worsening weather conditions and achieve enduring results for their customers. Over the last two decades, utility companies have deployed technologies such as outage management systems, advanced metering infrastructure, isolation strategies and distribution automation schemes to drive continuous reliability improvements in both frequency and duration. Leading utilities have shifted their thinking from simply responding and reacting to outages impacting customers; now they are focused on predicting and proactively addressing equipment conditions to minimize customer disruption caused by unexpected outages.”
PA’s reliability analyses of the nation’s electric utility industry are based on publicly available information on the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which provides the average outage duration per customer, and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI), which measures the average number of interruptions per customer. The indices show a slight increase in IOU (investor-owned utility) average system outage duration by approximately four minutes in 2019 to 122.5 minutes, compared to the previous year. Key to the utility reliability trend data is PA’s in-depth analysis, undertaken as part of the process to identify the top performing utilities and ReliabilityOne® award recipients.
PA’s certification and analyses of the utilities in the ReliabilityOne® program found that:
- IOUs in 2019 saw slight increases in both average outage frequency and duration compared to 2018.
- Average SAIDI performance of the ReliabilityOne® award recipients increased by approximately one minute from 2018 to 2019. ReliabilityOne® award recipients’ average SAIDI is 49% lower, or about 60 minutes better, than the average U.S. IOU’s SAIDI.
- ReliabilityOne® award recipients experienced 35% lower SAIFI than the average U.S. IOU.
- 2019 ReliabilityOne® participants on average saw a 4.6% decrease in SAIFI, and a decrease of 2.0% in SAIDI over the past five years. During that time, the average U.S. IOU saw less than 1% change in both SAIFI and SAIDI.
- Utilities are using innovative thinking and breakthrough technologies to identify and mitigate problems on the distribution grid before outages are caused, including critical asset failure prediction algorithms, focused analytics to dispatch the right mix of crews, and a ReliabilityOne® Analyzer to monitor outage performance and perform outage diagnostics.
- Two utilities in the program are using iPredict™, the world’s first artificially intelligent system for predicting failures in critical electricity distribution assets.
- Utilities are moving forward with state of the art technologies to create situational awareness of their service territory, their assets, and customers via drones, high density cameras and satellite imagery which allows utilities to make better, more informed, restoration prioritization and repair decisions.
PA recognized nine regional ReliabilityOne® award recipients from utilities across the U.S. based on overall system-wide SAIDI and SAIFI performance, and this year amended the criteria for our regional awards to reflect unique challenges for utilities serving metropolitan locations and those serving suburban/rural locations. Additional categories honored utilities for Outstanding Customer Engagement, Outstanding Technology and Innovation, and Outstanding System Resilience.
A list of all award recipients are as follows:
National ReliabilityOne® Award recipient:
The ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award was presented to Florida Power & Light Company
The ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award goes to the utility that showcases a focus on customer service, technology deployment, operational successes, and data and analytics. Florida Power & Light Company continued to excel across all these categories in terms of outage restoration practices, real time situational awareness, sophisticated fault locating technology, comprehensive data capture, security review and analytics, proactive customer outreach programs, and innovative customer self-serve options.
This year’s nine Regional ReliabilityOne® Awards recipients are:
West Region (Metropolitan) – San Diego Gas & Electric
West Region (Suburban and Rural) – Southern California Edison
Midwest Region (Suburban and Rural) – We Energies
Mid-Atlantic Region (Metropolitan) – Public Service Electric and Gas Company
Northeast Region (Metropolitan) – Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Northeast Region (Suburban and Rural) – Orange and Rockland Utilities
Southeast Region (Metropolitan) – Florida Power & Light Company
Southeast Region (Suburban and Rural) – Gulf Power
Plains Region (Suburban and Rural) – Northern States Power/Xcel Energy
ReliabilityOne® Award recipients for specific areas of outstanding performance are:
Outstanding Customer Engagement – Public Service Electric and Gas Company
Outstanding Technology and Innovation – San Diego Gas & Electric
Outstanding System Resilience – San Diego Gas & Electric
For more information on PA’s work in the energy and utilities sector, please visit: http://www.paconsulting.com/energy
For more information on PA’s ReliabilityOne® Awards, please visit: http://www.paconsulting.com/reliabilityone
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PA’s ReliabilityOne® awards are presented to electric utilities providing their customers with the highest levels of reliability in the industry. PA’s ReliabilityOne® study is based on standard industry reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of electric power outages. ReliabilityOne® participants on average experienced 35% fewer sustained outages, and outages were 49% shorter than the average U.S. investor-owned utility. PA has been analyzing electric utility performance since 1987. For more information, visit www.paconsulting.com/energy.
SOURCE PA Consulting