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August 6, 2013

FirstEnergy Updates Outage Map, Adds MyTown Feature for JCP&L Customers

On June 3, FirstEnergy announced a set of enhancements to their outage map, which is powered by iFactor’s Storm Center™ solution. As the latest phase of FirstEnergy’s ongoing customer communication efforts, the enhancements to the Storm Center map allow FirstEnergy to provide its customers with more detailed local information about power outages.

FirstEnergy's website announcement banner (click to view larger image)

FirstEnergy’s main outage map website has been updated to add a locations view that uses colored icons to display approximate locations for individual outages, with information boxes for each outage location that list the number of customers affected, estimated restoration time, and outage cause when available.

Existing map functionality has been extended to the new locations view. For example, a search box allows customers to search for a particular address or county on the map, and colored service territory boundary lines differentiate between service areas. Locations view has also been added to the mobile version of FirstEnergy’s outage map.

 

Screenshots of the FirstEnergy outage map comparing areas view and the new locations view.

Screenshots of the FirstEnergy outage map comparing areas view and the new locations view. Right: Screenshot of the locations view of FirstEnergy’s outage map on an iPhone 4.

 

Another feature added to FirstEnergy’s implementation of Storm Center is an administrative tool called the ETR Manager (ETR stands for Estimated Time of Restoration). This tool allows FirstEnergy representatives to easily update restoration times by area (township, borough, etc.), allowing the communications teams to quickly provide regional information to customers. The updated ETR is then displayed on the map in both areas view and locations view, and is also pushed to FirstEnergy’s implementation of Notifi® to ensure that ETRs provided to customers via email and text message alerts are always consistent with the ETRs on the outage map. This integrated solution leverages iFactor’s EnergySuite™ platform to provide a single, consistent interface for sharing energy information with customers.

iFactor also contributed to the launch of “MyTown,” a new feature on the Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) 24/7 Power Center outage map page that provides outage and infrastructure information by municipality. The “MyTown” pages are also part of FirstEnergy’s response to a series of directives issued by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) after Hurricane Sandy.

 

Left: Screenshot of JCP&L MyTown website with list of counties and townships. Right: Screenshot of MyTown web page for Independence Township

 

The MyTown website provides a list of counties and townships in New Jersey, with the number and percentage of customers out of power listed by township. Clicking on a township name opens a page that provides information about that township’s electric infrastructure.

You can read FirstEnergy’s news release about the expanded outage map features here. For more information about Storm Center outage maps or the work iFactor is doing to help New Jersey utilities respond to BPU requests, leave a comment below or email us at sales@kubra.com.