ComEd says it's ready for heat without outages : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

ComEd says it's ready for heat without outages

June 10, 2000


The first summer weather has rolled into Chicago and the beaches are open, the barbecue grills are coming out of the garage--and Commonwealth Edison says it will keep the lights on.

Last summer saw massive power failures in Chicago as ComEd equipment failed during heat waves. This summer should be better, the utility promises.

"We believe we have made all the repairs needed to prevent the failures that caused the extensive outages last summer," ComEd spokesman Don Kirchoffner said. "We do not believe we will see those kind of outages this summer."

ComEd has spent $800 million since last September to upgrade its equipment and has built new substations to handle demand for power. The company says it can now provide up to 23,000 megawatts of power, well above last summer's July peak of 21,243 megawatts.

The company also has special teams of workers ready to repair equipment on short notice, and on Friday opened a command center that will keep an eye on power demand and equipment malfunctions.

The temperature crept near 90 Friday afternoon and was expected to hover in the high 80s on Saturday, with humidity worsening.

Power consumption typically starts to decline Friday afternoon as businesses shut down, and weekends always see less demand for electricity than weekdays.

ComEd announced earlier this year that it will pay $60 to residential customers who are hit with three or more outages, each at least four hours long, during a two-month period. Businesses will get $100 for similar instances.

ComEd will not pay when weather, accidents by contractors or other circumstances beyond its control interrupt electricity.

-- Martin Thompson (, June 10, 2000

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