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Background on power outages

The SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index) for Crestwood in the calendar year 2006 was 13, compared to the average value for North American utilities of 1.1. The Crestwood CAIDI (Customer Average Interruption Duration Index) was 2.1 hours, compared to the North American average of 1.5. If blackouts of shorter than 5 minutes duration are removed, SAIFI is 6 and CAIDI is 4.6. We have had more than 27 hours of significant outages during this past year. Thus, the Crestwood neighborhood has extremely poor electrical service from PEPCO. This threatens individuals using medical equipment, causes frozen food to spoil, causes difficulties for parents with small children, and disrupts workers who telecommute from their homes.

In addition to the outages there are numerous "sags" detected by computer UPS systems and noted in the neighborhood by lights dimming, motors restarting, etc., which do our refrigerator and freezer compressors, and other motors, no good.

At a meeting with the Crestwood Citizens Association on September 22, 2005, with Mr. Ted Trabue and Ms. Diane Oliver Pepco stated that feeder 15197 was a major problem, that substation 190 was one of the worst three poorest performers in the system, that trees were commonly responsible for outages and that corrective action would be taken. At this meeting, Mr. Trabue also indicated that PEPCO had been having trouble getting approval for the removal of dead trees, partly because the position of DC chief arborist was vacant. We assume that this situation been corrected. Nevertheless, service in 2006 was no better than in 2005 and Pepco has again designated feeder 15197 as a "priority" for 2007, as you did in 2001 and 2005.


  1. While PEPCO blames trees for many of the outages, Washington is a heavily treed city and friends in other tree filled neighborhoods have more reliable service than Crestwood. What accounts for the difference?

  2. In addition to the PEPCO cited tree problem, there are still many equipment failures. Why?

  3. What is the capacity of the feeder lines serving the area, and what is the measured load on these lines? Please indicate those sections of the feeder that might be overloaded, even if the entire feeder rating is within acceptable loading limits. Pepco is currently replacing cables in Crestwood: what is the expected impact on service reliability and capacity? What increase in capacity is to be expected with the new cable? Does (or will) the new cable run all the way to the sub-station?

  4. What is the explanation for the large number of "sags" we experience? What is PEPCO doing to reduce sags?

  5. Is PEPCO required to maintain voltage in DC within ± 5% as in Maryland?

  6. Why have the corrective actions performed in 2005 failed to improve service?

  7. What does PEPCO plan to do in 2007 to make the "priority" designation show results?

  8. What does PEPCO consider an acceptable CAIDI, SAIFI, and SAIDI score for a rebuilt feeder? Hopefully we will not be just above the bottom 2% of DC circuits when complete. We understand there are draft service performance standards being reviewed. Is it true that these standards are set at a lower overall performance level than PEPCO's current performance?

  9. What follow-up action will PEPCO commit to for all feeders in the Crestwood neighborhood?

  10. Semi annual reports for five years of feeder reliability benchmarked against other DC feeders.

  11. Prompt outage reports (within 48 hours) about causes and recovery efforts for outages).

  12. How can we help you to improve electrical service in Crestwood?

Note: This document was provided by Tom Chused.

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