When there’s a problem — or a fault — on a power line, it can cause power outages for our customers. But thanks to a game-changing new system, these problems impact fewer customers than ever. The new system, created by our own engineering teams and vendor partners, uses smart devices that interrupt faults remotely. They’re called “vacuum reclosers.”
We place them on power lines to monitor the flow of electricity. When a sensor on a line detects a problem, the nearest recloser automatically cuts power from that point in the line. Instead of every customer on the line losing power, only customers downstream of the recloser device are impacted. Then, our crews work as safely and quickly as possible to restore power to everyone who is out.
In November 2021, we installed the first vacuum recloser on a transmission line and plan to install more of these devices at locations that will provide the most benefit to our customers.
This is just one example of our commitment to innovate and invest in technologies that improve reliability.
Not even a pandemic could keep us from supporting the organizations and people who make up the 29 counties we serve. While we work safely day and night to keep your lights on, we also remain committed to volunteering in the communities we call home.
Each year, our employees volunteer more than 7,000 hours. Here are just a few of our favorite events from 2021.
In October, 140 employees rolled up their sleeves and volunteered at 10 organizations across the Lehigh Valley for the United Way Day of Caring.
During the summer, we sponsored “Kids Zone” at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, teaching kids about infrared cameras and transformer switches.
In May, a group of employees spent the day at Wildlands Conservancy planting 100 trees to help preserve the environment.
Want to stay up to date on our community engagement? Follow @PPLElectric on social media!
We’re committed to preserving the environment in everything we do. Whether our employees are in the office or out in the field, we’re always thinking of innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle common materials.
Every day, we receive numerous shipments of fragile materials that are wrapped in clear plastic to help keep the items secure. Thanks to our employees at the Lock Haven Service Center, who initiated a new program, we’re making sure that plastic is recycled.
Through this program, employees recycle plastic by placing it in large bins in their service center. As an incentive for collecting 500 pounds of recyclable materials, Trex®, a manufacturer of wood alternative products, will provide us with a Trex® bench that we’ll be donating to a local park!
Our goal is to collect enough plastic for a Trex® bench in a local park in every region of our service territory. To date, we have collected over 400 pounds of materials and expanded the program by placing bins in three other service centers in the Susquehanna region including Sunbury, Bloomsburg, and Montoursville.
Stay tuned for our progress!
We join utilities across the nation to warn customers about scams. This year, the Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) campaign is ‘End the Call. End the Scam.’ The campaign focuses on utility impostor scam calls and the advanced tactics that scammers use to target customers. Since the pandemic began, the number of scams has escalated, and scammers have increased their efforts to take advantage of financial challenges many customers have faced.
So, what can you do to stop a scam and avoid these scammers’ tactics?
UUAS has tips to help:
If you receive a call from a possible scammer, slow down, verify, and stop before you act.
- Slow down. Scammers may ask you for personal information and immediate payment. Don’t let them rush you into making a decision.
- Verify. Scammers often pose as employees. If you are unsure whether the call is from PPL, hang up and check your online account at pplelectric.com or contact us directly.
- Stop before you act. Think about the information the caller is asking of you. If it seems unsafe or incorrect, rethink the situation and ask questions.
Scammers are extremely sophisticated and use strategies that can make you believe they are not an impostor. Here are a few common scams and tips to protect yourself:
- Scammers often threaten immediate service termination. They ask for personal information or demand payments to stop a termination. We’ll never demand immediate cash to avoid shut-off.
- They’ve been taking advantage of increased online activities and are asking for payments through digital payment apps or direct transactions with banking institutions.
- They prey on households with tight budgets. They’ll inform you that you overpaid a bill and are due a refund, but first they’ll ask for your bank account information to process a transfer.
- They also are posing as utility employees by claiming the number on the caller ID does not match the utility’s phone number because of COVID-19 remote work policies.
As creative as these scammers get, it’s important to be vigilant and remember that anyone can be targeted. If a scammer targets you, they may also target your neighbor. That’s why we must continue to raise awareness. Together, we can #StopScams.
Visit the Utilities United Against Scams website for more information.
Utilities United Against Scams, 2021