Vectren Takes Home Top Industry HonorPosted: Updated:
Evansville-based Vectren Corp. (NYSE: VVC) has won a national energy industry award. Vectren has been recognized with the 2014 ReliabilityOne Award for Outstanding Midsize Utility from global firm PA Consulting Group Inc. November 21, 2014
NEW YORK, N.Y. - (November 19, 2014) - Last night, Vectren Energy Delivery (Vectren) was recognized by PA Consulting Group, Inc., as the recipient of the 2014 ReliabilityOne Award for Outstanding Midsize Utility, which awards electric utilities for outage prevention and reduction performance. This year, PA Consulting Group expanded its ReliabilityOne program to recognize the very best midsize investor-owned utilities in the United States, where in the past, they had only honored utilities with 500,000 customers or more. To be eligible for this recognition, a utility must deliver a reliability performance ranked in the top 95th percentile in the nation.
"ReliabilityOne Award winners have a common thread: customers come first," said Jeff Lewis, PA Consulting Group's ReliabilityOne program director. "Vectren has kept its customers' needs at the forefront, hinging its business success on maintaining the highest level of reliability."
Vectren electric customers are experiencing less electric outages and outages that occur are significantly shorter in length than in previous years thanks to the utility's continued efforts in electric system upgrades, improved response time and outage prevention measures. Vectren tracks two key metrics, which measure outage frequency, or how often an outage occurs, as well as duration of outage, which is the length of time a customer is without power. System wide, on average, Vectren customers experienced a decrease in electric outages of over 35 percent since 2011. The average length of customer outages improved by 20 percent and now averages about 90 minutes as compared to 110 minutes in 2011. Vectren’s 2013 performance places Vectren in the top five percent nationwide as compared to other utilities of like size.
Note: PA Consulting Groups ReliabilityOne award is based on using the Customer Average Interruption Duration Index, System Average Interruption Duration Index, and System Average Interruption Frequency Index excluding major storm events.
"It’s exciting to see our customer-focused improvements are paying off and are resulting in fewer outages over the course of a year - and when outages do occur, they are shorter in length," said Brad Ellsworth, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana - South. "While electric outages are not completely avoidable, the effort toward continued progress is apparent, as evident of us being awarded this honor."
Customer-focused electric improvements include:
-Tree trimming/line clearance: Ensuring electric wires are easily accessible and not tangled within vegetation minimizes outages caused by nearby tree limbs and allows for quicker repairs. This single program is recognized by the utility industry and its regulatory agencies across the country as having the most impact on reliability.
-Reliability/maintenance programs: Efforts to focus improvement on poor performing circuits, an electric pole inspection program, fuse replacements and infrared light scanning of circuits to identify loose connections result in both fewer customer outages and shorter outage duration.
-System segmentation (outage isolation): The addition of remote and automatic controls on equipment allows for segmenting outage locations on transmission and distribution systems. Essentially, this allows the utility to isolate an outage whereby it impacts the smallest number of customers possible rather than the entire circuit. As such, only customers closest to the affected area must endure an interruption while repairs are made.
-Varmint protection devices: Squirrels, birds and even snakes can cause up to 20 percent of non-storm outages over the course of a year by coming into contact with energized electric equipment simultaneously, such as one of the transformers at the top of a utility pole, and a grounded piece of equipment. Vectren installs varmint guards, more than 10,000 over the past five years, near transformers on poles and within substations to prevent the animals from triggering outages.
Forward looking improvements include substation enhancements, which will include automated controls and system protection, as well as implementation of smart grid technology, which allows two-way digital communication between the utility and electric system, to better pinpoint outages and re-route power around trouble areas leading to faster restoration.
All Midsized utilities operating electric delivery networks in North America are eligible for consideration for the Outstanding Midsize Utility award. The selection of provisional recipients is based primarily on system reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of customer outages. After provisional recipients are selected, each company undergoes an on-site certification process which provides an independent review and confirmation of the policies, processes and systems used to collect, analyze and report a company's reliability results.
Vectren serves 142,000 electric customers in Dubois, Gibson, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.
Vectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) is an energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, Ind. Vectren's energy delivery subsidiaries provide gas and/or electricity to more than 1 million customers in adjoining service territories that cover nearly two-thirds of Indiana and west central Ohio. Vectren’s nonutility subsidiaries and affiliates currently offer energy-related products and services to customers throughout the U.S. These include infrastructure and energy services. To learn more about Vectren, visit www.vectren.com.
About PA Consulting Group
PA Consulting Group, Inc. (PA) is an employee-owned firm of over 2,500 people, operating globally from offices across North America, Europe, the Nordics, the Gulf and Asia Pacific. PA has experts in energy, 7 financial services, life sciences and healthcare, manufacturing, government and public services, defense and security, telecommunications, transport and logistics. PA's deep industry knowledge, together with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation, allows them to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results with lasting impact. PA has partnered with energy clients for over 25 years to help them understand the challenges they face and define and implement an effective strategic response. 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 and has been analyzing electric utility performance since 1987. For more information about PA Consulting Group, visit www.paconsulting.com/energy.
Sources: Vectren Corp., PA Consulting Group, Inc.