PECO will inspect more than 39,000 utility poles located across its service territory this year as part of the company’s maintenance and reliability improvement program. PECO is investing $1.1 million to perform the inspections, which will continue through the spring.
Inspections, which will be performed by an independent contractor, include a visual examination of poles and the electrical equipment attached, and taking samples from the poles interior and excavating around the base to check for decay. Necessary repairs and replacements are performed based on the inspection results. After completing a 10-year inspection cycle last year, PECO is starting another 10-year cycle of wood pole inspections this year. Over the course of this cycle, PECO will inspect more than 387,000 poles across the region.
“Continuous monitoring, inspection, repair and replacement of equipment on our electric system is crucial to ensuring that our customers receive the safe and reliable service they expect and deserve,” said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services. “Preventative maintenance programs, such as our pole inspection initiative, help to reduce the frequency and duration of outages, improve the performance of our entire system, and keep our customers and crews safe.”
Wood pole inspection, replacement and repair work is done in accordance with the National Electric Safety Code. This program is part of the company’s overall preventative maintenance program which includes regular inspection of equipment on PECO’s electric system, including manholes, aerial wires and underground cables, transformers, substations and other electrical equipment.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 490,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 87.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 39.5 billion kilowatt-hours-hours of electricity in 2010. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.