Tampa Electric to offer northeastern utilities additional support
Additional crews traveling to Baltimore, Md., to help BG&E restore power after severe storm; Ybor City call center at the ready to take customer service calls for Pepco
TAMPA, July 2, 2012
After severe weather affected the Midwest and Northeast on Friday, Tampa Electric is helping two utilities – by sending crews to help in the field and by remotely supporting their customer service efforts through a call center in Ybor City.
At 5:30 p.m. today, about 30 additional Tampa Electric team members, including 16 linemen, will head to central Maryland to help Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. restore power. They will join the other Tampa Electric linemen and support personnel already working in the area, for a total of about 75 employees offering assistance. The crew members are prepared to stay for two weeks.
From 1 p.m. Saturday, June 30 through 7 p.m. Sunday, July 1, Tampa Electric customer service professionals (CSPs) have assisted Pepco with more than 9,000 customer outage calls through the Mutual Assistance Routing System, or MARS. The “virtual” technology allows Tampa Electric to help Pepco customers remotely.
Through Web-based software, Tampa Electric CSPs can access basic customer information and are able to submit repair requests so Pepco dispatchers can prioritize their response to outages. To the customer, the transition is seamless. 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.
About a dozen states in the Midwest and Northeast were affected Friday by a fast-moving system called a derecho that included wind in excess of 70 miles per hour and frequent lightning. Utilities sustained extensive damage. Restoration activities are expected to take several days as the severe weather is expected to continue.
Tampa Electric is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, or SEE, which is a network of utilities who pledge mutual assistance in case of storm or other emergency. Crews supporting the restoration efforts of other utilities are paid by the host utility.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 . Tampa Electric serves nearly 676,000 customers in West Central Florida. 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.