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Six Ways to Reduce Operational Costs Through Outage Maps

May 10, 2023

Consumers are experiencing the direct impact of inflation as they watch their grocery bills soar, and electricity and gas prices rise. The effects are far-reaching, extending beyond just consumers and touching the utility sector too. A recent report by Deloitte found that supply chain snags and rising costs will likely continue to plague the power and utilities sector in 2023. Add in an increase in the frequency and severity of storms due to climate change, and there’s a genuine risk that outages will become more common, leading to higher operational costs for utilities. 

Outage maps are a great tool to keep customers and stakeholders informed during storms and service interruptions. They communicate critical information like estimated restoration time, crew status, number of customers affected, cause of the outage, and more. They contribute to delivering a five-star customer experience, especially during outages. But less apparent is how they can also benefit utility companies by lowering operational costs. Here are six ways outage maps help lower rising costs for utilities.

Reduce Call Volume

By providing real-time information on power outages, outage maps give customers easy access to information when the lights go out in their neighborhood. When you can meet the bulk of your customers’ communication needs through your outage map, they don’t have to call you. That means you can scale back on hiring and training customer service representatives to manage high call volumes during outages.

Optimize Resource Allocation

Internal outage maps give your company a birds-eye view of the number of outages, the severity of the outage, and the number of customers affected within your service area. Access to this information means you can assess which neighborhoods are most impacted and allocate resources there first, especially when critical infrastructure issues have been identified. Optimizing resource allocation can reduce your operational costs and increase resource allocation efficiencies.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Managing customer relationships is costly enough without the added cost of dealing with negative experiences due to poor customer service. When you keep the lines of communication open when services are down, you can more effectively manage customer expectations during a major outage. With real-time updates available through outage maps, you can improve customer satisfaction and reduce the risk of receiving complaints or bad publicity due to inadequate outage communications. The stakes are high during severe weather events, and frequent and concise communication is especially critical.

Prioritize Planned Outages

With data generated by your outage map, you can identify outage patterns, duration, and frequency. Analyzing this data lets you know which areas are more susceptible to outages allowing you to prioritize planned outages in these high-risk neighborhoods for maintenance. This improves the overall reliability of the power grid over time. Optimizing planned service interruptions can reduce the need for emergency restorations during an outage, which can be more expensive and time-consuming.

Enhance Team Collaboration

Facilitate better collaboration between your teams, such as operations, customer service, and engineering, with outage maps. Everyone works with the same data when you have a common platform for receiving real-time outage information. This allows your teams to work more efficiently and effectively, leading to faster response times, reduced downtime, and lower operational costs.

Improve Regulatory Compliance

Meeting regulatory requirements is less demanding because outage maps help you manage response times more effectively during outages. You keep the regulators happy when you can provide real-time information to your customers before, during, and after an outage event. And it also reduces the risk of receiving penalties and fines.

KUBRA Is an Industry Leader in Providing Solutions for Outage Communications 

For over a decade, KUBRA has worked with some of the largest utility companies in North America, providing them with best-in-class outage communications solutions.

“Most large utilities in North America offer an outage map,
with nearly 40% hosted by KUBRA.”

- A 2021 Chartwell Report on Outage Maps

To see a real-world example of how millions of North Americans visited their utility provider’s Storm Center™ maps to receive outage information during the December 2022 Winter Storm, check out our infographic.

If you’re looking for another way to lower costs, Notifi®, KUBRA’s alerts and preference management platform, can help you reduce your operational expenses through text messaging. Click here to learn more!

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