Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. Named Recipient of the 2022 ReliabilityOne® Award for Outstanding Suburban and Rural Service Area Utility
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) was named yesterday by PA Consulting as a recipient of the 2022 ReliabilityOne® Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance in the Northeast suburban/rural service area – recognizing the very best suburban/rural service area investor-owned utilities in the United States. To be eligible for this award, a utility must deliver a reliability performance ranked as the top achiever/performer in this demographic/density category.
O&R also received the 2022 ReliabilityOne® Outstanding Customer Engagement Award for the company’s development of two new digital tools: one that guides residential customers to successfully adopt cleaner options for heating and cooling, such as electric heat pumps, and the other helps developers make the best choice for siting electric vehicle (EV) chargers. Both those tools were developed and designed by O&R’s Section Manager for EV Programs Andrew Farrell.
In addition, O&R received the ReliabilityOne® Outstanding Contributor to Reliability Award. The Outstanding Contributor to Reliability Award is presented to an individual who is a service reliability champion within the organization. That award was presented to O&R’s Section Manager for Performance and Operational Engineering Brian Nugent.
O&R Vice President – Operations Orville Cocking said, “O&R is honored to receive these coveted awards. This recognition reflects hundreds of hours of planning, design and construction to continually improve O&R’s energy delivery systems. That work never ends. These awards are a well-deserved tribute to the talent, diligence, creativity and hard work of the men and women of O&R.”
Over the past 10 years since Superstorm Sandy knocked out power to over 80 percent of O&R’s electric customers, the company has spent over $140 million to fortify and improve the reliability of its electric system by initiating a broad set of programs designed to reduce the number, damage and duration of power outages caused by major storms.
As a result, O&R estimates its electric service restoration times have improved by 30 percent. That improvement came from building additional electric circuits, implementing distribution automation in select circuits, burying overhead lines at strategic locations, enhancing overhead systems with stronger wire and poles and expanding tree-trimming clearances at critical service locations.
That investment builds on the nearly $1 billion O&R also has invested over the past 10 years on electric system maintenance and reliability projects.
All utilities operating less dense electric delivery networks in North America are eligible for consideration for the Outstanding Reliability Performance in a suburban and rural service area award. There are eight metropolitan service regional awards including Northeast. Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Plains, Mountains, West, Southeast and Southwest.
The selection of provisional recipients is based primarily on system reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of customer outages. After provisional recipients are selected, each company undergoes an on-site certification process which provides an independent review and confirmation of the policies, processes and systems used to collect, analyze, and report a company's reliability results.
“For the past 22 years, the ReliabilityOne® Awards have highlighted outstanding electric utility providers who resiliently build a more positive future for their customers,” said Gregg Edeson and Derek HasBrouck, PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne® Co-Program Directors.
“We are pleased to name Orange & Rockland as an industry leader for delivering outstanding service and restoration efforts while balancing customer needs.”
O&R’s industry-leading efforts in balancing customer needs were honored by the 2022 ReliabilityOne® Outstanding Customer Engagement Award.
One of the two O&R programs recognized by this award --- the residential heating and cooling calculator tool ---- provides residential customers with information about the costs associated with transitioning to cleaner heating and cooling options. The calculator was designed to help customers learn about rebates, understand the costs of cleaner heating and cooling, make informed decisions about their energy use and connect to approved contractors.
The tool allows customers to input information about their home and receive estimates on upfront, annual, and long-term maintenance costs. The tool can also calculate the carbon savings when converting from traditional heating to electric heat pumps.
The second O&R program recognized by this award --- the EV charger siting tool --- provides a digital map that shows the location of O&R distribution circuits and the remaining load capacity those circuits have available for EV charger interconnection with minimal to no need for system re-enforcement. That information can substantially affect the cost and time to complete a project.
The tool also allows developers to see not only energized chargers in service today but projects under construction. Developers can access information about different size projects and different locations, allowing for a transparent upfront siting and scoping of EV chargers for developers. O&R also supplements that information with a description of rebates and incentives for which the project is eligible.
The Outstanding Contributor to Reliability Award recipient Brian Nugent, an O&R employee for more than 25 years, has a passion for electric service reliability.
Cocking said, “Brian is focused and determined in his pursuit of reliable service for his customers. He believes that, in our work, there’s an answer for every question and he doesn’t stop until he finds it.”
Cocking added, “Brian is a strong leader who has a detailed knowledge of the electric system and the systems that support it. He is a creative, resourceful thinker and a gifted, practical problem-solver. He is a tireless advocate for the customer, and a well-respected member of O&R’s Operations team.”
About Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company), and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.
About PA Consulting
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PA’s ReliabilityOne® awards are presented to electric utilities providing their customers with the highest levels of reliability in the industry. PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne® study is based on standard industry reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of electric power outages. ReliabilityOne® participants on average experienced 35% fewer sustained outages, and outages were 50% shorter than the average US investor-owned utility. PA Consulting has been analyzing electric utility performance since 1987. For more information about PA Consulting, visit www.paconsulting.com/energy.