AKRON, Ohio – FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has once again earned recognition for its emergency response efforts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a leading electric industry organization. FirstEnergy earned the “Emergency Recovery Award” for safely and efficiently restoring service to more than 371,000 of its customers following powerful winds that caused widespread damage throughout its service territory in November 2020.
“When severe weather impacts our customers, we have well developed storm restoration plans that are quickly implemented to reduce their outage time and keep them safe,” said Sam Belcher, senior vice president of FirstEnergy and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. “This award recognizes the efforts of our crews in the field who worked safely around the clock in difficult, and sometimes hazardous, conditions to help our customers.”
Beginning early Sunday, November 15, powerful winds between 45-55 mph and gusting up to more than 65 mph impacted Ohio and moved eastward across FirstEnergy’s service territory throughout the day, bringing down tree limbs and causing widespread damage to FirstEnergy’s utility poles and equipment. The heavy winds caused thousands of instances of downed wires, more than 800 broken poles and crossarms, and damaged nearly 500 transformers due to trees and other debris contacting the company’s electrical equipment.
“Many EEI member companies experienced historic storms and other significant weather-related events in recent months that left customers without power,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Crews worked around the clock and often in the most dangerous of conditions to assess damage and to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. They did all of this during a global pandemic.”
EEI presents awards twice annually to member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by weather conditions and other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges following an international nomination process. The awards were presented June 8, 2021, during the online Annual Board and CEO meeting. The company earned both the “Emergency Recovery Award” and the “Emergency Assistance Award” earlier this year for its restoration efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias and Hurricane Laura, respectively.
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Its members provide electricity for 220 million Americans and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to its U.S. members, EEI has more than 65 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.