Tampa Electric to help utility impacted by recent snow storm
Through a mutual assistance virtual call center, Tampa Electric can handle phone calls for other utilities
TAMPA, January 27, 2011
As a result of significant power outages caused by a recent snow storm in the Washington, DC and Maryland areas, Pepco has asked Tampa Electric for help. Tampa Electric customer service professionals (CSPs) will begin assisting Pepco today starting at 2:00 p.m. with customer outage calls through the Mutual Assistance Routing System, or MARS. The “virtual” technology allows Tampa Electric to help Pepco customers in times of emergency or severe conditions. The system also enables customer service representatives from other utilities to answer calls from Tampa Electric customers in the event Tampa-based call centers must evacuate.
Through the Web-based software, Tampa Electric CSPs can access basic customer information and are able to open tickets so Pepco dispatchers can prioritize their response to outages. To the customer, the transition is seamless.
MARS’ inception and development began in 2007 with TECO Energy and several other participating utilities in the Southeastern Electric Exchange. The technology was first used in February 2010 when severe weather pummeled the Washington D.C. area. Pepco requested aid from Tampa Electric which handled hundreds of outage-related calls for the D.C. utility.
Weather event-specific information is also available in real-time through MARS, allowing the CSPs to better assist the other utilities’ customers with outage-related calls. For additional support, Tampa Electric CSPs will be provided with printed materials, access to the Pepco websites and Internet broadcasts of newscasts and weather reports projected onto a large screen.
Through a conference call, customer care personnel from all companies involved will have open lines of communication during the entire event.
About Tampa Electric
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala .