It’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon and you are enjoying the day in the company of your family when unexpectedly you experience an outage. You rush to check if any of the circuit breakers have been turned off and realize that the entire neighborhood is standing on their front porch. We have all been witness to such a situation and have nothing much to do but patiently wait for the power to turn back on.

When it comes to outages, customers are usually placed in the dark. They are unaware of what might have caused the lights to go, when it would be restored, and are clueless on whom to reach out for an update. But now customers have become smarter. They want services that are prompt, helpful and personal. Moreover, utilities have been imposed with rigorous mandates for responsiveness, particularly for more accurate restoration estimation, frequency of communication and shortened outage duration.

These factors have resulted in the need for electric utilities to leverage digital solutions to help minimize the impact of an outage. Digital solution provides end-to-end capabilities for outage management through multi-channel communication, improved understanding of event scenarios, real-time grid monitoring, and more effective use of field crew. Such solutions come equipped with varying levels of maturity and sophistication that provides capabilities to help utilities minimize the effect and duration of outages, this includes:

  • Determine the location of an asset or problem causing an outage.
  • Prioritize restoration efforts based on safety, the number of customers impacted, etc.
  • Estimate the resources and material required for the restoration effort.
  • Derive information on the extent of outages and the number of customers impacted.
  • Analyze inbound calls to predict an outage.
  • Determine the area affected
  • Keep customers updated by providing information, including details on service restoration time.

To be able to offer superior outage management capabilities, these next-gen digital solutions integrate with Customer Information System (CIS), Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems to improve operational efficiency and deliver fast, personalized and effective responses during outage situations.

Improved operational efficiency, reduced outage time and cost- efficiency are some of the many benefits that are delivered by adopting cutting-edge digital outage management solutions. Such solutions armed with data analytics allows predicting future outage events to provides utilities with far more efficient line inspection methods and, consequently, more efficient response times. These high-end capabilities can dramatically off-set outage risks and cut costs to create vast new opportunities for efficient outage management and customer service.