Aug
20

Mississippi Power Adds Outage Alerts and Mobile Apps for Customers

On June 24, Mississippi Power announced the addition of two new communication tools – an outage alert system and a mobile app. Designed to help customers during outages and provide news about the company, these tools are part of an initiative to improve customer experience that also includes a redesign of the Mississippi Power website.

“Instant notifications are just one example of how Mississippi Power is evolving our service,” said Customer Operations Manager Charlie Sentell. “Making use of new technology is a great way to keep our customers in the loop.”

The outage alert system, which is powered by iFactor’s Notifi® product, provides outage notifications and restoration updates by text message, email, or automated voice message. Mississippi Power promoted the alert system with a video showing how to sign up, as well as a press release and posts on the Utility’s social media pages.

MS Power Outage Notifications Video

The Utility’s Outage Alerts FAQ page also includes information about how to register, including a required confirmation step, as well as a list of the keywords available for two-way text messaging and the types of outage alerts offered.

MS Power Text Messaging Keywords

Mississippi Power also launched a mobile outage app, powered by iFactor Mobile™, which provides a mobile version of the Utility’s outage map, tools for reporting an outage and checking outage status, and links to important phone numbers and the Utility’s social media pages. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.

MS Power mobile outage app home screen MS Power mobile outage app check power status MS Power mobile outage app map

More information about the Mississippi Power’s outage communication tools can be seen in an article featured in the July edition of South Mississippi Living magazine. For more information about the Notifi alert and preference management system or iFactor Mobile apps, contact us at info@ifactorconsulting.com.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
15

Infographic – Why Utilities Should Have Power Outage Maps

Power outage maps are becoming increasingly important tools in utilities’ customer communication strategies. Check out our infographic below to learn how power outage maps built with the right features can help utilities save money and improve customer satisfaction.

Why Utilities Should Have Power Outage Maps

 

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iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
13

Pepco Holdings Updates Outage Map, Adds New Streetlight Outage Maps

Pepco Holdings continues to enhance its outage map offerings. The most recent developments are additions to the local area information provided on the Pepco outage map, as well as new streetlight outage maps for Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power.

Municipal Restoration Information

Pepco has updated its outage map to display additional information about outages and outage restoration at the area and zip code levels. Information about the number of customers served, number of customers affected by outages, percentage of customers affected by outages, and estimated restoration time have been added to the information boxes for areas and zip codes on the map. The information boxes also include a link to a website on understanding the restoration process. These updates are similar to those implemented for Pepco Holdings companies Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power.

Pepco map with zip code info box

Pepco outage map showing zip code information box with additional outage and restoration information.

StreetLight Outages Maps

Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power have launched StreetLight Outages™ maps to help customers quickly locate and report issues with streetlights such as flickering lights, lights out at night, or lights on during the day.

The new maps also include rollover displays of counties and municipalities, which make it even easier for customers to locate streetlights with issues. For example, clicking on a county will cause the map to zoom in to a display centered on that county.

ACE SLO map with county-level rollover

Atlantic City Electric StreetLight Outages map showing a county rollover area.

ACE SLO map with municipal-level rollover

Atlantic City Electric StreetLight Outages map showing a municipality rollover area.

 

ACE SLO map with streetlight-level info box

Atlantic City Electric StreetLight Outages map showing the information box for an individual streetlight, including a link to the form for reporting a problem with the light.

The maps are currently accessible from desktop and mobile devices, and are also planned to be included in an upcoming update to PHI’s mobile apps.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
7

iFactor Attends White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day

Last week, iFactor attended the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day. The event showcased innovative technologies designed to aid first responders and survivors in the wake of a disaster.

Nigel Snoad, Google, with David Way, National Grid, presenting the Outage Data Initiative and Google Crisis Map.

Nigel Snoad, Google, with David Way, National Grid, presenting the Outage Data Initiative and Google Crisis Map.

During the afternoon event, Nick Sinai, the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shared the announcement made on May 28 in which a number of utilities and technology companies declared their intent to develop and use a standard format for publishing outage and restoration information. Following this announcement, David Way of National Grid and Nigel Snoad of Google presented on behalf of the Open Power Status Initiative group, sharing the progress the group has made and showing what a Google Crisis Map that uses this type of data may look like. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also demonstrated their “Lantern Live” mobile app that combines power outage information and outage reporting with other useful information such as the locations of gas stations with fuel available. A recorded version of the event may be viewed here.

Demo of Lantern Live application showing power outage information.

Demo of Lantern Live application showing power outage information.

iFactor also took part in a Power Outage Data meeting earlier in the day with utility and government representatives. The meeting included participants from the DOE, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who shared their expected applications for standardized outage data. The DOE expects to use the data to inform first responders, HHS expects to use the data to help first responders and public health professionals identify power-dependant populations such as people on ventilators, and FEMA plans to use the data to decide where to allocate resources such as ice and generators. Google also shared their interest in the data, citing their Hurricane Sandy Crisis Map as likely the most viewed map in history with approximately 50 million map views. During the meeting, the attendees also discussed the idea of providing predictive data to aid in disaster response and recovery, as well as concerns around licensing of the standardized data and maintaining customer privacy.

For more information about iFactor’s involvement with the Open Power Status Initiative, view our press release here. If you would like to learn more about the initiative or get involved, please contact Jason Hernandez.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
5

Press Release: Pepco Holdings Connects Customers to New Self-Service Tools with iFactor Mobile App

TEMPE, Arizona (August 5, 2014) – Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) recently released a new mobile app for customers of its subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric. Developed by iFactor, the new app includes a full redesign of the user interface and provides new functions including the ability to view and pay bills, enroll in paperless billing, access energy usage information and report streetlight issues.

Pepco mobile app designed by iFactor

Through the app, PHI customers can make payments, view bills and sign up for paperless billing. Customers can now use the apps to pay bills from a checking account, savings account, money market account, debit card or credit card. The app also provides customers with access to their last 12 months of bills in PDF form, allowing them to better budget for the months ahead using historical data. Using the new app, customers can even enroll for paperless billing.

PHI customers can now view energy usage for multiple locations, compare their usage to similar locations and review seasonal tips for reducing energy usage. Through the app, PHI customers have access to monthly energy usage data and comparisons to energy used by similar properties. In addition, the app includes data from the utility’s smart meter network, providing access to charts showing daily and weekly energy usage to customers who have smart meters.

Outage reporting capabilities were also enhanced in the Pepco app by adding a map-based streetlight reporting tool for reporting issues such as flickering lights, lights out at night or lights on during the day. For those streetlights managed by Pepco, the tool allows customers to easily locate and report streetlights with issues using a nearby address or with location-based zooming enabled by their smartphones. The app also provides information for streetlights managed by other entities such as local government organizations. The streetlight reporting functionality is a planned addition for both the Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power versions of the app in the future.

The new app is part of PHI’s ongoing commitment to enhancing customer service and providing customers the information they need. Download information for the app can be found at the Pepco website at http://www.pepco.com/connect-with-us/outage-center/download-mobile-app/, at the Delmarva Power website at http://www.delmarva.com/connect-with-us/outage-center/download-mobile-app/, at the Atlantic City Electric website at http://www.atlanticcityelectric.com/connect-with-us/outage-center/download-mobile-app/ or directly through the iTunes and Google Play stores.

About Pepco Holdings Inc.

Pepco Holdings Inc. is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, serving about 2 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey. PHI subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric provide regulated electricity service; Delmarva Power also provides natural gas service.

About iFactor

iFactor develops customer communications solutions for the utility sector, delivering information to more than 140 million people in North America through deployments at more than 40 utilities. iFactor’s solutions are changing the way utilities approach customer communications, allowing utilities to leverage connected technologies such as the web, mobile web and smartphones to interact with the customers’ channel of choice. Visit http://www.ifactorconsulting.com for more information.

Contact:

Alison Copeland, iFactor Consulting
alison@ifactorconsulting.com
480.584.3041
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iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.