2022 Utility Outage Communications Conference

2022 Utility Outage Communications Conference

January 18-19, 2022 | Online :: Central Time

“I love the EUCI Outage Communication conference. It’s one I look forward to every year and always take away some great information to bring back to my company.” – Admin – Electric T&D Reliability, City Utilities of Springfield

“The fact that the conference concentrated on outage communication allowed my mind to tackle one aspect of my role to enhance customer satisfaction rather than float from topic to topic. Other conferences are often wide in variety, but this topic was relevant. I can go back with great ideas to enhance our outage communication efforts.” – Director of Communications, Tri-County Electric Cooperative

Outages have always been a fact of life for distribution utilities long before the global pandemic and will be when things are finally back to normal. During an outage, customers focus on two primary concerns: how long until power returns? and how will it impact my life?  Therefore, realistic, and reliable outage reports – estimated time of power restoration and status updates via multiple communication channels are expected from today’s utility. Since most customers prefer proactive communications during an outage, they are more responsive to outage communications than other types of content. Furthermore, the manner of outage communications can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction thus utilities across the North America continue to find new ways to improve outage communications.

Having an outage alert plan in place now is more important than ever as utilities continue to weather destructive storms, intense heat, wildfires, etc. causing massive power outages while still dealing with the pandemic. These catastrophic events are a reminder that extreme weather events of all kinds are on the rise globally and show no signs of waning. At EUCI’s 11th Outage Communications conference, utility and industry professionals will share their best practices in dealing with outages and how their organizations continue to transform their communication channels. This online conference brings together utility and industry experts who must interact with customers during difficult times.

Learning Outcomes

This conference will provide attendees an opportunity to:

  • Examine what top utility performers are doing to increase customer satisfaction by improving their outage communications
  • Review how to actively engage several key audiences throughout your service area
  • Explore how to reinvent the customer experience during an outage
  • Discuss how the use of technology can better communicate the outage process
  • Identify a plan of response in advance to prepare for emergency situations
  • Review the necessary steps to take and consider for effective planned outages
  • Discuss best practices for continued improvement to company restoration efforts
  • Recognize how to establish open lines of communication throughout the organization
  • Demonstrate how be proactive with notifications to improve customer engagement

 

Agenda

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Conference Timing

 

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Morning Session

(includes a sponsored break)

Maximizing Customer Satisfaction through Outage Management and Effective Communications

Outages are going to happen but how well a utility communicates during the outage can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Both residential and commercial customers have increased satisfaction when utilities provide proactive information during and after an outage. This session will examine what top utility performers are doing to increase customer satisfaction by improving their outage communications.

Mark Spalinger, Director, Utilities Intelligence, J.D. Power

Community Engagement: Maximizing Diversity & Inclusiveness

How can your organization create a culture with a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness?  How and when should you move beyond informing customers to a higher level of involvement and collaboration? Hear how a Washington state utility has expanded its traditional outreach to actively engage several key audiences throughout its service area. This expanded audience engagement has proved to be quite valuable when dealing with customer outages and crisis communications.

Neil Neroutsos, Communications Manager, Chelan County Public Utility District

Preparing for Planned Outages at Georgia Power

Outage communication tools, both the outage map and customer notifications, have generally been timely and very helpful for customers.  The growth of outage communications and its impact on customer satisfaction is now well documented.  The next area for improvement in electric utility outage communications is on planned outage activity that utilities schedule for a variety of maintenance and support reasons, to ensure more reliable customer experience.  Now there isn’t a once-size fits all solution to address Planned Outage Communications.  Although a clear solution is not available, it doesn’t mean that Georgia Power isn’t working to meet the planned outage communications expectations of customers. 

Though an exhaustive series of investigations, several teams within Georgia Power have been working to study, experiment and investigate how to solve or improve planned outage communications to our customers.  As Georgia Power continues to work towards a solution, we’ll share some of the key elements that customers expect, and the feedback customers have through our limited experiments in communicating planned outage information.  From sharing pictures to pre-planned schedule notifications there are some great insights gained in sharing planned outage information with customers. As many utilities can attest, no vendor or utility currently has a solution to meet this need but sharing what works and what doesn’t may help uncover the best practices and solutions available.

John Zumbado, Senior Engineer, Georgia Power

Todd Clement, Product Manager – Notifi, KUBRA

Improving Messaging Around Global ETRs During Large Storms

Implementing tried and true best practices in restoration efforts will only enhance customer outage communications. Improving the messaging during major outage events caused by large storms enables timelier and more accurate estimated restoration times (ETR). While it is imperative to provide better outage communications, it is at least as important to gain efficiencies in improving restoration tactics.  In this presentation, the presenter will discuss how ComEd’s efficient storm restoration efforts and effective messaging have helped to keep the utility in a positive light when it comes to customer satisfaction surveys.

David Siedlecki, Manager of Digital Business, ComEd

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Lunch Break

1:15 – 4:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Session

(includes a sponsored break)

Building a Cloud-based Solution for Secure Emergency Management

Utility emergency operations, be it a small, localized incident or a system-wide natural disaster, requires close collaboration and communication between emergency operations personnel from multiple organizations. Lives can be on the line. This session will outline the requirements to share grid data among emergency operations and provide insight into how secure grid integration can enhance the utility emergency management process.

Scott Thomsen, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Ventura County Fire Department

Terry Nielsen, EVP, GridBright

Enhancing the Outage Communication Process at TEP

To enhance overall customer satisfaction, Tucson Electric Power Company looked to improve unscheduled outage communications during the most volatile and unpredictable time of the year (monsoon season).  TEP enhanced the general outage communication process, improved features of the outage map (outage journey maps for residential and business), streamlined life alert communications, and added its services to customers with extended outages. These efforts improve the company’s overall JD Power Score and demonstrated the value of investing in process improvement initiatives as a primary means of improving service.

John Bord, Manager of Customer Experience, Tucson Electric Power

Adding Intelligence to Outage Management with Integrated Cloud-Based Digital Platforms

Outages, be it energy or water, are some of the most annoying and disappointing incidents. But they are also they are also an opportunity for utilities to give a hassle-free experience to customers. The key is proactivity and empathy. In business, we know to always expect the unexpected, and as providers of essential services, utilities need to go the extra mile in ensuring transparent communications and unbridled service. When in an emergency, they need to tell their customers what to expect, that their service will continue, and that they are there to help.

In this presentation, learn strategies and approaches to outage management with the help of digital technologies to address more frequent and intense weather events, grid failures, and increased customer expectations. Attendees will learn about the role of digitization and technology to:

  • Manage real-time engagement with the customers
  • Integrate proactive multi-channel customer communication
  • Speed restoration and improve customer satisfaction
  • Enhance utility resilience and reliability

Darren Brady, Chief Customer Officer, Smart Energy Water

Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plan for the Town of Estes Park

The allure of Colorado’s dense national forests and mountainous terrain also make it susceptible to factors that increase the risk of wildfires. In the fall of 2020, the scenic and historic Town of Estes Park was surrounded by the two largest fires in Colorado state history, the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires. While the fires grew ever larger and closer, Estes Power and Communications got a crash course in wildfire mitigation measures, interagency coordination, and communicating fire-related power outages. As a result of these growing wildfire threats, the Town of Estes Park has engaged in progressive, proactive wildfire mitigation efforts to prepare for these natural disasters. In this presentation hear about one small town’s municipal electric utility experiences and the mitigation plans that have been put in place including improved communications.

Sarah Clark, AMI Coordinator, Town of Estes Park

PECO Helps to Win Customer Loyalty Even During Severe Weather

The past year has been extreme and abnormal in so many ways and for utility companies, it’s been a test of the resilience and reliability of aging power grids and supporting infrastructure. The uptick in the quantity and severity of significant weather events is undoubtedly capturing the attention of the utilities industry. Consumers trust utility companies that effectively respond to their energy needs particularly when faced with a power outage. In this presentation, learn about some of the necessary step’s PECO has taken to win customer loyalty especially during extreme weather events.

Rob Busa, eChannels Manager, PECO

Jay Malin, Managing Director, AGENT511

4:45 p.m. :: Day One Adjourns

 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Conference Timing

 

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Announcements/Day One Recap

9:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Morning Session Day 2

(includes a sponsored break)

Best Practices from the Field for Estimated Time of Restoration (ETRs)

Unfortunately, in many instances, a system emergency occurs without any warning. Such occurrences deny a utility the opportunity to execute preparatory actions. However, a utility can develop a plan of response in preparation of emergency situations by planning in advance. Developing a plan helps minimize tension and frustration during a very stressful period. In this presentation, Blake Grizzle will share best practices that GreyStone Power has incorporated to be better prepared for outage events and the continued improvement of the company’s restoration events.

Blake Grizzle, Systems Engineer, GreyStone Power Corp

Proactive Notifications at Belize Electricity Limited

Outages are going to happen but how well a utility communicates before, during and after the outage can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction. Both residential and commercial customers appreciate timely, accurate and proactive information that help them understand the cause and the company’s efforts to restore power. In this session, learn how Belize Electricity is taking a proactive approach with notifying customers to increase satisfaction and improve customer engagement. 

Vonetta J. Burrell, Manager, Public Relations, Belize Electricity Limited

Tools for Integrating Notification Applications with Existing Enterprise Systems

Application integration is the process of enabling individual applications—each designed for its own specific purpose—to work with one another. By merging and optimizing data and

workflows between multiple software applications, organizations can achieve integrations that modernize their infrastructures and support better overall communication daily or during outages. This session features a discussion of integrating applications with existing systems. The presenter will address multiple perspectives including selection strategy, project management, change management conversion activities and business process improvement.

Jon Brock, President, Desert Sky Group

American Electric Power’s (AEP) Storm Outage Prediction Model

AEP’s diverse 11-state footprint faces everything from ice storms, which can be especially damaging to power lines and other equipment, to high wind events, like derechos, to hurricanes and tropical storms. Approximately 65% of significant outages created by weather are caused by strong to severe thunderstorms. Through predicting the timing and severity of storms, the team at AEP can help the company make critical decisions to get resources in place in advance to speed up restoration efforts. This presentation will provide and overview about the continued efforts at the company to better prepare for outages by using storm prediction models.

Stephen A. Patton, Customer Journey Lead, AEP (invited)

12:00 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns

Speakers

  • John Bord, Manager of Customer Experience, Tucson Electric Power

  • Darren Brady, Chief Customer Officer, Smart Energy Water

  • Jon Brock, President, Desert Sky Group

  • Vonetta J. Burrell, Manager, Public Relations, Belize Electricity Limited

  • Rob Busa, eChannels Manager, PECO

  • Sarah Clark, AMI Coordinator, Town of Estes Park

  • Todd Clement, Product Manager – Notifi, KUBRA

  • Blake Grizzle, Systems Engineer, GreyStone Power Corp

  • Jay Malin, Managing Director, AGENT511

  • Neil Neroutsos, Communications Manager, Chelan County Public Utility District

  • Terry Nielsen, EVP, GridBright

  • Stephen A. Patton, Customer Journey Lead, AEP (invited)

  • David Siedlecki, Manager of Digital Business, ComEd

  • Mark Spalinger, Director, Utilities Intelligence, J.D. Power

  • Scott Thomsen, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Ventura County Fire Department

  • John Zumbado, Senior Engineer, Georgia Power

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

Register

Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees
Single Connection - 2022 Utility Outage Communications ConferenceUS $ 1195.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 4,780.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 8,365.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 14,340.00
Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
* all other discounts do not apply to license packs

This event has the following related events:

The Successful Path to Customer EngagementUS $ 795.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 3,180.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 5,565.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 9,540.00

By registering I indicate I agree with EUCI's privacy policy and understand I may receive emailed reports, articles, event invitations and other information related to products and services from EUCI and any of our business partners. I understand I may unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link included in emails.

Take advantage of these discounts!

  • Attend the Conference and The Successful Path to Customer Engagement and pay US $ 1,895.00 per attendee (save US $ 95.00 each)

Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before December 17, 2021 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

Secured By:

CEUs

Credits

CEUs for Outage Communications

EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop.

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 11.0
There is no prerequisite for this conference.
Program Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Delivery Method: Group-Live
Advanced Preparation: None

CEUs for Outage CommunicationsEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.

 

 

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case Studies, Panel Discussions and PowerPoint presentations will be used in the program.

Who Should Attend

Individuals working in the following areas will benefit from attending this event:

  • Customer service
  • Internet services
  • E-business services
  • Social media
  • Web risk-management
  • Contact center management
  • Corporate communications
  • Web designers, interactive group
  • Business planning and information systems
  • Strategic planning and performance management

Sponsors

Outage communications sponsor Agent 511

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