Reliability Badge

Aug 2, 2016 | Reliability | 2 comments

Cutting outages short

Our new smart grid technology is making a difference for many customers.

Our goal is to provide exceptional service to you.

One key way we’re doing that is with a new automated power restoration system that’s turning the lights back on for customers in minutes, even before a work crew has made repairs.

The system uses smart grid technology that includes pole-top sensors to detect outages, a central computer that quickly analyzes the problem, and remote-control switches that reroute power and restore customers to service.

Here’s a video that shows how it works:

This advanced technology has already meant shorter power outages for thousands of homes and businesses, as the system has been phased in around our delivery area. It became fully operational in June.

During severe thunderstorms the week of July 18, our smart grid restored 9,488 homes and businesses to service in an average of one minute and 56 seconds. The following week, during another round of severe storms, the technology restored 5,308 customers automatically in an average of one minute and 36 seconds.

Here are some other recent examples of smart grid operations:

  • A tree branch fell on a power line in Thompsontown, Juniata County, on April 9, cutting power to 1,800 customers. The PPL smart grid returned 1,016 of the customers to service in four minutes.
  • An equipment failure in the Whitehall area June 28 cut power to 1,578 customers. In two minutes, 856 of the customers were back in power.
  • A storm in the Bloomsburg area June 28 cut power to 1,694 customers. In four minutes, smart grid had turned power back on for 1,456 customers.
  • A tree fell on a power line in the Macungie area on June 24, cutting power to 1,758 customers. In two minutes, 923 of the customers were returned to service.

We’re continuing to invest in technology and equipment to improve reliability for you. We’ve reduced outages by 30 percent since 2007, with an improvement of another 15 percent expected in the next five years. Last year our reliability programs prevented an estimated 410,000 power outages.


  1. Helen Gosnell

    Fantastic technology to restore electric service. Curious…Does this technology cover my area in Manheim Twp / Lancaster County? Please respond…

    • Kurt

      Helen: The smart grid technology is installed on nearly all of our lines, so yes, it is in effect in Manheim Township. Thanks for asking!


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