UI Makes Upgrades to Restore Power Quicker

Restoring power after a major storm can often be an exhaustive process, but United Illuminating is making some upgrades to get the lights back on faster.

Many residents said they hope that new technology will help with a very old power problem.

“It’s frustrating; a day or two you can take,” Sandy Pandora, of Stratford, said about losing her electricity after strong storms in 2011 and 2012. "You have to get out of your everyday habits."

It can be much worse when the power stays out for a longer period of time, as it did for many people along the shoreline during and after Irene and Sandy.

“I lost power for four weeks," Leo Koutikas, of Milford, said. "It's very difficult. People aren't used to having no power for four weeks."

United Illuminating had to deal with many obstacles in restoring power.

In the last few years, UI has made some upgrades. One was Automated Vehicle Location, which can provide real-time information about each UI and contractor vehicle in the field. Crews will also have mobile data terminals to instantly update job status and to be dispatched to their next assignments more quickly.

“I think it’s all about implementation and good management," Rosabelle Conover, of Milford, said. "The power shouldn’t be off for a week.”

"I hope they get repair people in quicker, even from out-of-state, wherever they can get them," Pandora said.

UI officials said the new AVL tool will offer an up-to-date picture of what is happening in the field, not just during storms but also on any day of the year.

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