Unitil Corporation (NYSE:UTL), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, announced that its online outage map is available to customers as a new feature on the Company website, Unitil.com. The map, which has been active since May, can be found directly at www.unitil.com/map.
“With the heart of hurricane season approaching, we want to make sure our customers are aware this new tool is available for keeping an eye on outages in their town or neighborhood,” Unitil VP of Communications and Public Affairs Carol Valianti said. “Thanks to this map, customers will see the exact same data we see when we are dispatching crews to restore power.”
The map is populated using information from customers who call customer service to report their outages and from those who report their outages online. The map displays an estimate of the total number of customers without electricity based on the location of incoming reports, meaning that the map becomes more accurate the more customers report their outages. The map will also provide town-by-town counts of customers without power and estimated restoration times based on damage assessments. A detailed explanation of how the outage map works is available at http://www.unitil.com/outage-center/electric-outage-map/instructions.
Following major weather events, estimated restoration times are delayed while crews work to complete a damage assessment phase in the field. The delay is to insure customers receive the most accurate information available following a catastrophic event.
“The outage map joins Twitter as another online information resource we will use to share information on system outages,” Carol Valianti, Unitil VP of Communications and Public Affairs said. “We will continue to explore new ways to communicate with our customers and members of the media, who rely on us when major weather events strike.”
In addition to the online outage map, Unitil will continue to employ a full complement of communications channels to notify customers of outages, including call center representatives, call center automated information recordings, radio, TV, print media, Twitter and Public Service Announcements (PSAs).
Customers can report outages online at Unitil.com or by calling the following customer service numbers:
- For the NH Seacoast Area: 800-582-7276
- For the NH Capital Area: 800-852-3339
- For Massachusetts: 888-301-7700