With summer just around the corner, at Delmarva Power we have been hard at work, prepping our systems, and testing our processes and procedures, all part of our efforts to provide safe and reliable service for our 520,000 electric customers and 132,000 gas customers all summer long.
At Delmarva Power, we are committed to providing our customers with a modern, reliable and resilient energy grid, all to provide the service our customers have come to expect. To support this effort, over the last five years, we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars modernizing the local energy grid and helping reinforce it against extreme weather events.
This work includes installing new, more modern equipment, stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable, and trimming trees, which cause about 40 percent of power outages for customers each year. At Delmarva Power, we are using innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment that can automatically restore service more quickly or isolate damage. This work is essential in helping to prevent those outages that can be prevented.
Because of these efforts, during the past five years, the number of electric outages has decreased in our Maryland service area nearly 30 percent.
In addition to modernizing and reinforcing the local energy grid, we conduct emergency response drills and complete testing of computer and emergency systems as part of our seasonal preparedness efforts.
We also enjoy the benefits of being part of one of the largest energy service companies in the country. As part of the Exelon family of companies, we share best practices with our sister utilities – Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, PECO, and Pepco – and participate in collaborative emergency response training exercises to ensure we can provide seamless support and resources to another Exelon company during storm or emergency restoration efforts.
Just like Delmarva Power prepares for summer, customers should also be ready too. Summer storms can result in power outages, and customers can take a few simple steps to be ready:
- Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, special needs items, and a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Have at least a three-day supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare nonperishable foods.
- Identify a safe alternate location in case of an extended outage.
- Visit delmarva.com/mobileapp and download our mobile app to report outages or other service issues and stay up to date should summer storms cause a service interruption to your home or business.
- Remember, always stay away from any storm damaged electrical equipment, especially downed power lines. Customers are asked to immediately report a downed wire by calling 1-800-898-8042.
- Review the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation of your generator. Do not connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring. Never use a generator indoors, in an attached garage or other enclosed area.
Find additional storm preparedness tips at delmarva.com/storm.
When summer temperatures rise, customers also can take simple steps to help keep their energy costs down:
- Turn it off: Turn off all unnecessary lighting and devices.
- Manage your thermostat: Keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level when at home. Raise the thermostat setting for days of extreme heat to save even more. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping.
- Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed: About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply closing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat in your home.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate air: For those without air conditioning, use ceiling fans or portable fans with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air into your home. For those with air conditioning, fans can be used to evenly distribute cool air.
- Use appliances wisely: Run appliances that produce heat (like clothes dryers, ovens and dishwashers) at night when it is cooler.
By taking a few simple steps, together we can be ready, stay safe, stay cool, and use less energy this summer.