By Uncle Irvin
To say PECO was totally unprepared for a massive outage is an understatement. The executives who run PECO had no idea of what to do, because they were totally unprepared.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, and just plain storms are not unusual, and power companies like PECO, who have a territorial monopoly, have never taken corporate responsibility to deal with power outages seriously.
Last week's ice storm is a record breaker in scope, and shows PECO what it really is -- and that it certainly is not a “public” utility. PECO and its parent company, Exelon, are profit engines for executives and stockholders at the expense of the public they serve.
PECO probably spends more money on political contributions to members of the State Legislature and others than it spends on planning how to handle large power outages.
That's why a PECO PR hack lied to the public and media about the time it would take to restore power.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which is responsible for regulating PECO and other public utilities, should investigate PECO and others, and force them to prepare power outage plans for their review as a condition of keeping their monopoly. After Hurricane Sandy, the state of New York made Long Island Power and Light give up its business because of poor planning and maintenance.
Once again, the public is being screwed by the utilities and the state government. These power outages can be mitigated and it's a shame that PECO and others have to be forced to do their jobs.
Moreover, Uncle Irvin -- who lost power for five days -- can attest that my outage had to do with three electric poles collapsing. There were no trees or branches involved. How can three poles collapse with just the weight of ice? Telephone poles placed underground rot over the years, and that's what happened on my street and many others.
PECO doesn't know what “maintenance” means, and that's got to end. People must rise up and demand that their legislators and public officials make PECO, and all public utilities, regularly perform maintenance on their infrastructure.
On a bright note, my outage was repaired by a crew from Illinois, and they did a great job of fixing a mess and restoring power.