Installed additional wire: Previously, some of our existing distribution lines had one or two wires on a pole. By adding a third wire, PSE has more flexibility to operate the electric system while also improving reliability for our customers. Here is how it works: for everyday operations, one or two wires are adequate. However, when long outages occur during very cold temperatures, the system sometimes experiences a phenomenon called “cold load pickup.” Cold load pickup occurs after our linemen have made necessary repairs and restored power to our customers. Because customers are turning on electrical appliances and heaters in their homes at the same time, our lines can become overloaded and an additional – sometimes extended outage – occurs. Adding the additional wire will allow us to divide our customers’ energy load over three wires instead of one or two, decreasing the likelihood of cold load pickup in the area.
Customer service improvement plan
In response to feedback from area residents, we reviewed our customer service processes, training and tools, made some initial improvements to our customer service group, and developed a plan for long-term improvements. Initially, we:
- hired and trained 50 additional call center agents for the upcoming storm season
- provided additional customer service training for our current agents, with an emphasis on addressing the concerns outlined by the Crescent Valley community
- addressed and corrected inaccurate information and messaging to customers
- improved automated calls to customers so call system instructions are clearer and more user-friendly
- created a storm information task force to focus on ways to provide more accurate restoration times to our customers
We understand that we must look to long-term investments to improve our customer service. We are investing in new technologies and information tools such as geographic-based outage management and customer systems, as well as expanding our social media presence through tools such as Facebook, Twitter and phone-based applications. These tools will allow us to provide you with more relevant and timely information.
For customer service, please call 1-888-225-5773.
What is a transmission line?
Transmission lines are key elements in the electrical distribution system. The lines safely transport high voltage electricity from power sources like dams and wind generating facilities to substations in local communities. Transmission normally takes place at voltages of 55 kV and higher.
What is a distribution line?
Distribution lines are critical links in the electrical system moving power from electrical substations through distribution transformers directly to homes or businesses. Unlike transmission lines, distribution lines typically carry less than 55 kV; PSE's distribution lines are typically 12.5 kV. Distribution lines can be installed both above and below ground.
What is a substation?
Substations are critical links in the electricity distribution system, containing utility circuit protection, voltage regulation, and equipment that steps down higher voltage to lower voltage. Before reaching homes and businesses, power is routed through our transmission system to a substation where it is changed to a lower voltage that can be utilized by customers.
Download the information
Download these PDF files for more detail on PSE's Crescent Valley area reliability projects.
October 2012 postcard
Project map (updated October 2012)
November 2011 newsletter