PSC Web site has immediate information
Information about major electric power outages is now immediately available to emergency responders, local officials, the news media and the general public on the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) Web site.
|"One of the most frequent complaints during power outages has been that information about the extent of the outage and possible restoration times can be hard to obtain. This reporting system will make that information available to everyone as soon as it is received by the PSC." |
- Mark David Goss
Outage information may be found at psc.ky.gov/ors/OutageReport.aspx.
“One of the most frequent complaints during power outages has been that information about the extent of the outage and possible restoration times can be hard to obtain,” PSC Chairman Mark David Goss said. “This reporting system will make that information available to everyone as soon as it is received by the PSC.”
Having outage reports available quickly will aid the response to natural disasters, said Gen. Maxwell “Clay” Bailey, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management.
“We will no longer have to wait for outage information to be compiled and relayed to our emergency operations center,” Bailey said. “Having it right there on a computer will allow us to respond that much more effectively.”
Local government officials also will appreciate having the information readily available, said Bob Arnold, executive director and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Association of Counties.
“Communication with utilities during a major disaster can be difficult, and a lack of needed information can be frustrating for county officials who are trying to address local needs,” he said. “Having easy access to outage information will be extremely helpful.”
Goss said the experience in Kentucky and elsewhere during events that caused widespread power outages was the driving factor behind the PSC’s decision to establish the online reporting system.
“One of the major obstacles to effective disaster response is a lack of accurate and timely information,” he said. “The online system we have established at the PSC is an effort to make sure there is no information gap with respect to a key component of our utility infrastructure.”
PSC regulations require that utilities report any outages affecting 500 or more customers for four hours or longer. Utilities sometimes report smaller outages as well.
At present, only regulated electric utilities are making outage reports using the online system. (A list follows this article.) But any utility that wishes to participate may do so by contacting the PSC.
“We certainly invite and encourage nonjurisdictional utilities to use this system,” PSC Vice Chairman Teresa Hill said. “Emergency responders, the news media and Kentucky residents would benefit from having as much information available as possible.”
Nonjurisdictional electric utilities include those owned and operated by municipalities and rural electric cooperatives that are part of the Tennessee Valley Authority system.
Before the online system was developed, utilities reported outages to the PSC by phone or e-mail. The data then had to be compiled for further use or distribution.
“This new system seamlessly streamlines both the receipt and distribution of this vital information,” Hill said.
Hill said that even though customers without power are unlikely to have Web access, the reporting system nevertheless will benefit them by providing the news media and emergency responders with current information.
“We hope that the electronic media in particular make use of this new source of outage data to keep the public informed during storms or other events,” she said.
In addition to information about current outages, the Web site also allows users to search for information about past outages, based on the date and time of the outage.
The PSC is an agency within the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in the commonwealth of Kentucky and has approximately 110 employees.
Utilities using the automated reporting system:
- Louisville Gas & Electric Co.
- Kentucky Utilities Co.
- Duke Energy Kentucky
- Kentucky Power Co. (American Electric Power)
- East Kentucky Power Cooperative
- Big Rivers Electric Corp.
- Big Sandy Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Blue Grass Energy Cooperative Corp.
- Clark Energy Cooperative
- Cumberland Valley Electric
- Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Fleming-Mason Energy Cooperative
- Grayson Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Inter-County Energy Cooperative
- Jackson Energy Cooperative
- Jackson Purchase Energy Corp.
- Kenergy Corp.
- Licking Valley Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Owen Electric Cooperative
- Salt River Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Shelby Energy Cooperative
- South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
- Taylor County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.