Duquesne Light prepared for Dog Days of summer


August 9, 2005

As electric usage for the year is nearing all-time records, Duquesne Light's investments in its electrical distribution system and ongoing infrastructure maintenance will help customers keep cool as the summer heat continues.

During the last two months, Duquesne Light customers have used electricity at a record pace.  Average hourly load and load used for June and July have exceeded previous records set during the same period in 2002.  Peak usage usually occurs in late July and August, yet the company already has neared its hourly usage high this past July 26 with 2,865 megawatts.  The record high of 2,886 megawatts was reached on Aug. 1, 2002.

To maintain the level of service and reliability customers have come to expect, Duquesne Light recently completed several projects to upgrade the capacity and voltage of its delivery system.  In addition, the company has installed new transformers at several of its substations to better manage load across its system.  These infrastructure improvements are part of Duquesne Light's plans to invest more than $500 million of capital over the next several years in its aging transmission and distribution system.

The capital improvements go hand in hand with Duquesne Light's commitment to keep customers connected to a reliable, secure source of electricity. As part of Duquesne Light's Provider of Last Resort (POLR) agreement, the company has secured an ample supply of power for its residential and small business customers well into the future.  And thanks to its day-to-day focus on preventative maintenance, vegetation management and continuous improvement of its work processes, Duquesne Light has surpassed reliability benchmarks set by Pennsylvania regulators for each of the past six years.

When summer storms or excessive heat cause electrical outages, the Call Center at Duquesne Light stands ready to field customer inquiries and to provide an estimated restoration time.  In addition, improvements in outage and repair reporting enable customers calling from the phone listed with their account to receive an automated update on the progress of restoration efforts through the self-service hotline at 1-888-393-7000.  The company's repair crews are ready to restore service 24-7. 


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