Tampa Electric’s call center to help utility with calls from Winter Storm Nemo
A virtual call center will help Tampa Electric handle phone calls for other utilities
TAMPA, February 8, 2013
In anticipation of significant power outages from Winter Storm Nemo, NSTAR Electric and Gas has asked Tampa Electric for help with customer phone calls.
NSTAR has 1.1 million electric customers and 300,000 gas customers in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Massachusetts. The Northeast is bracing for a blizzard of historic proportions as Winter Storm Nemo approaches the East Coast.
Nearly 30 Tampa Electric customer service professionals (CSPs) will begin assisting NSTAR on Saturday starting at 6 a.m. with customer outage calls through the Mutual Assistance Routing System, or MARS. The “virtual” technology allows Tampa Electric to help other utilities’ 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 submit repair requests so NSTAR 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, or SEE. The technology was first used in February 2010 when severe weather pummeled the Washington D.C. area. Since then, Tampa Electric has helped several utilities after severe snow weather.
Specific weather event information is also available in real-time through MARS, allowing the CSPs to better assist the other utilities’ customers with outage-related calls.
Through a conference call, customer care personnel from all companies involved will have open lines of communication during the entire event.
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. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.