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Top Session Pick for DistribuTECH ’18: Alabama Power & Damage Assessment with Brad Baugh

By Blog

Distributech 2018 be in San Antonio this year January 23-25th at the Convention center and will host over 300 utilities and 13,000 attendees.  With more than a dozen session tracks there’s something for everyone. If you have to prioritize your sessions at Distributech 2018, be sure to put Brad Baugh’s session at the top of your list.

After Major Events, Utilities Assess Damage to Gauge What’s Needed for Repairs. Alabama Power’s new Mobile Damage Assessment Tool Cuts the Process From Days to Hours, Using GIS, Smartphones and Tablets

Brad Baugh, Alabama Power
Room: 210A
Thursday, January 25, 2018: 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Mobile Solutions track

Utilities can considerably improve restoration time by automating the damage assessment process – eliminating the paper maps alone can help utilities get work in the hands of accessors at lightning speed – and returned back to the storm center in real time…which means repair crews and be dispatched faster to improve restoration times.  There’s a host of other benefits which we’re sure Brad will cover and you won’t want to miss.

The ARCOS team will be on site too and if you’re attending, please let us know so we can meet you and introduce you to other ARCOS customers.  We’ll also be at booth #2763 if you need us.

 

Could you provide regulators with a storm report in hours vs days?

By Blog

Two days ago, Maine’s regulators ordered power companies to complete a storm report detailing their response to the October windstorm that knocked out power in the Northeast to half a million people. The regulators want a report within 30 days describing the daily outages as well as contractor-specific dates, times, locations, equipment and number of crews during restoration. The utilities also need to report in detail about mutual assistance and how they coordinated with state and local officials during restoration.

In addition to detailing the costs incurred to restore, the commission wants details on all external resources used, including contractors and utilities, and how they coordinated with state and local officials during restoration.

How many hours – or days – would it take your utility to pull this together?

Crew Manager Timeline Dashboard

Moving this timeline bar forward or back provides a snapshot of the status and distribution of crews at any given time. All information can be exported to a CSV or Excel file.

  Read More

With ARCOS, Tennessee American Water reduces response time to fix water main breaks

By Blog

ARCOS® LLC has implemented its Software-as-a-Service ARCOS CallOut® and Scheduling solution at the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Tennessee American Water to automate how the utility’s distribution department responds to customer emergencies. For Tennessee American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, responding to emergencies includes making calls to the utility’s employees to locate available crews to restore water main breaks and shut off meters during after-hours, unplanned events.

With ARCOS, Tennessee American Water reduces response time to fix water main breaks

By Blog, Press Releases

Columbus, Ohio – December 5, 2017

ARCOS® LLC has implemented its Software-as-a-Service ARCOS CallOut® and Scheduling solution at the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Tennessee American Water to automate how the utility’s distribution department responds to customer emergencies. For Tennessee American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, responding to emergencies includes making calls to the utility’s employees to locate available crews to restore water main breaks and shut off meters during after-hours, unplanned events.

“The ARCOS system reduces by as much as 30 minutes the time it takes us to get a crew assembled and out into the field to shut off water and begin repairs,” says Casey Allen, operations superintendent for Tennessee American Water. “With a large main break, water can quickly damage a road, adjacent land, or even surrounding structures. One break can exceed several thousands of dollars of damage.” Read More

With ARCOS, NOVEC looks to reduce length of power outages

By Blog, Press Releases

Columbus, Ohio – November 16, 2017

ARCOS LLC is implementing its ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite to help Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) expedite electric service restoration, focus on safety and reduce the utility’s System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which is the total annual duration of outage interruptions per customer.

“The ARCOS software will automatically find and contact our employees. Instead of spending their valuable time on the phone, our system operators will be able to activate ARCOS with only a few clicks and then focus on critical tasks such as high-voltage switching or coordinating restoration work with service technicians in the field,” says Dan Swingle, vice president of System Operations for NOVEC. “We’re hoping that ARCOS will reduce our service restoration times, which will also help us meet our SAIDI goal.”

NOVEC’s 2016 SAIDI was 45.79 minutes, calculated without outages related to major events. The utility’s five-year average SAIDI, excluding major events, is 49.56 minutes. J. D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction study placed NOVEC second among the 138 largest electric utilities in the nation. NOVEC also ranked second in Power Quality and Reliability, the largest contributor to overall customer satisfaction, according to the study.

“We always look for cost-effective ways to improve performance in the operations division, but at our high level of achievement, it’s increasingly difficult to reduce SAIDI. We expect ARCOS to give us an edge through automation,” adds Swingle. “If an automated callout process gets our people to work faster, then we’ll be able to restore power faster.”

NOVEC has been using a labor-intensive process to monitor minimum callout requirements for approximately 215 union employees. Through its partnership with ARCOS, the Cooperative expects to reduce the amount of staff time it takes to initiate callouts and track responses. According to Swingle, NOVEC administrators, on average, spend an hour per day documenting callouts; sometimes that climbs to three or four hours during a busy event.

“We’ve also had major events that required operators to spend 9 to 10 hours making callouts, which diverted their focus from their primary job – restoring power to NOVEC customers,” says Swingle.

With ARCOS, operators and staff can concentrate solely on service and safety, instead of tallying callout requirements and resolving complaints, which can easily require an hour per incident. Through automation of the crew assembly and deployment process, NOVEC expects to improve overall outage response and, thereby, reduce service restoration times, while maintaining its high employee safety standards. The data provided by the ARCOS system will also enable final event reports to be produced quickly and accurately. In addition to its union workforce, NOVEC plans to add another 107 employees to the ARCOS system. This will enable system operators to reach all or specific groups of employees with alerts, news or requests for assistance.

“Comparing the cost of ARCOS to what we’ve spent administratively on manual callouts clearly justified the investment in the ARCOS system,” adds Swingle.

About NOVEC

NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a not-for-profit corporation that provides electricity to more than 166,000 metered customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the City of Manassas Park, and the Town of Clifton. It also supplies natural gas and energy products and services to consumers in the Washington, D.C., region. The utility serves more customers than any electric co-op in Virginia and is one of the largest electric cooperatives in the United States.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is the North American leader in delivering resource management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and resource management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at www.arcos-inc.com. ARCOS CallOut® and ARCOS Crew Manager® are registered trademarks of ARCOS LLC.

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