PG&E seeks to constantly analyze and improve its outage communications

By Russ Henderson, Research Manager –

Even after a utility has improved outage communications along all channels, constant analysis and improvement are necessary. Pacific Gas & Electric’s successful efforts to constantly improve earned Chartwell’s 2017 Silver Best Practices Award in Outage Communications. Those efforts are detailed in a Chartwell Best Practices case study published last week (member login required).

In recent years, PG&E found that, though the company was delivering its highest-ever levels of reliability, customers were nevertheless becoming less satisfied with the way the company communicated about the outages they were experiencing.

A cross-channel analysis on a year’s worth of reliability and outage communication data revealed a few significant problems. Only half of the customers who should be receiving notifications were actually receiving them, and customers experiencing an outage were seeking information more quickly than they received it.

PG&E was able to improve message timeliness, accuracy and the number of customers reached. Satisfaction with the company’s reliability was also increased to an all-time high for PG&E.

If your utility has an outage communications effort that should be recognized, please submit an entry for Chartwell’s 2018 Best Practices Award in Outage Communications. You can download the entry form on the Outage Communications Conference site.

The deadline for entry is Feb. 13, 2018. Winners will join us in New Orleans for the award ceremony at the Outage Communications Conference in early June. We look forward to seeing you there!

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