E.ON U.S. Wins 'Emergency Recovery Award' for Restoration Efforts - WDRB 41 Louisville News

E.ON U.S. Wins 'Emergency Recovery Award' for Restoration Efforts



WASHINGTON (March 2, 2010) – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today recognized E.ON U.S. as a winner of the "Emergency Recovery Award" for the company's excellence in restoring electricity to its customers following a severe snow and ice storm in 2009. The award was presented today at EEI's Spring CEO and Board Meeting.

On Jan. 26, 2009, and the two days that followed, a massive ice storm blanketed much of the Eastern United States, completely covering the state of Kentucky. Considered the worst natural disaster in state history, the storm caused major destruction throughout the service areas of E.ON U.S.'s two Kentucky-based operating companies, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company. The damage to service surpassed E.ON U.S.'s previous biggest outage even, that from the high winds of Hurricane Ike only five months before.

The magnitude of the storm was felt throughout E.ON U.S.'s electric infrastructure, as 21,312 miles of distribution line had to be replaced, 2,293 new power poles erected, and 188 transmission towers replaced.

The restoration effort called on mutual assistance crews from more than 20 states adding up to a total of 6,700 electrical workers, vegetation workers, and others who worked a combined 16.8 million hours. Crews battled extremely dangerous conditions with falling ice, tree limbs and power lines – including many that were previously restored but incurred subsequent damage – as well as extremely icy surfaces.

Nearly all customers were brought online by Feb. 9, but a wind storm on Feb. 11 caused another 81,000 outages, and again mobilized an immediate response, which needed three more days to fully restore power.

"E.ON's coordination of so many crews and assistance workers is a remarkable feat in and of itself, but even more is how effective the restoration effort really was, considering the damage it faced," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "The company's efforts in restoring electricity after such an event reflect very well on this industry and its commitment to getting the lights back on quickly and safely in times of widespread storm damage."

The "Emergency Recovery Award" is presented annually by EEI to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or natural events. The Recovery Award recognizes exceptional efforts in restoring electric service by a company in its service territory. Winners of the award were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and awards were presented today during EEI's Spring CEO meetings.

E.ON U.S., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A., is a diversified energy services company. E.ON U.S. owns and operates Louisville Gas and Electric Company, a regulated utility that serves 318,000 natural gas and 390,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties, and Kentucky Utilities Company, a regulated electric utility in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A., that serves 518,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia.

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