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Public Service Commission


04/21/2016 Contact: 850-413-6482

Florida Utility CEOs Present Hurricane Preparedness and Storm-Related Customer Communication Plans to PSC

TALLAHASSEE — Today, Florida’s investor-owned electric utilities appeared before the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), sharing their plans to maintain electric grid safety during hurricanes and other natural disasters. The presentations were focused on how each utility addresses customer needs during, and after, storm-related events throughout the State of Florida.

“Businesses and residents are increasingly reliant on electricity-driven technology, making quick storm restoration even more important when residents are most vulnerable after extreme weather events," said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. "Our paramount concern is that Florida’s IOUs are adequately prepared and educating their customers about storm preparedness prior to hurricane season.”

Beginning in 2006, the PSC required the state’s investor-owned utilities to implement an aggressive vegetation management cycle for all major distribution circuits and incorporate a transmission inspection program and an eight-year inspection cycle for all wooden poles. Some utilities have replaced wooden poles with concrete poles that can withstand 140-mile-per-hour winds.

Today’s presentations demonstrated how customer communications and thoughtful preparation can improve restoration times when outages occur. The following CEOs discussed plans to continue strengthening their electric systems against high winds associated with hurricanes and other major weather events:

• Eric Silagy, Florida Power & Light Company
• Alex Glenn, Duke Energy Florida, LLC
• Gordon Gillette, Tampa Electric Company
• Stan Connally, Gulf Power Company
• Jeff Householder, Florida Public Utilities Company

Leo Lachat, State Emergency Response Team Chief, also updated the PSC Commissioners on the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s coordination with Florida utilities in storm preparation and restoration. During state emergencies, the PSC provides 24/7 staffing for Emergency Support Function-12 at the Emergency Operations Center, coordinating electric and natural gas responses and providing information and assistance to federal and state agencies.

Today’s storm preparedness presentations  can be found on the Commission’s website. 

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Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.