MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Winter weatherization efforts are underway for FirstEnergy and subsidiary Mon Power as we approach the final weeks of the Fall season.
“At this time of year, people are going to use more electricity to run furnaces and heaters and what not,” Spokesperson Todd Meyers said. “People are indoors longer, so they are also using more electricity for lighting and for just being indoors longer. So we know that energy use typically increases during these winter months.”
Meyers said crews have been working on inspections and equipment maintenance to help “enhance system resiliency” as snowfalls become a reality. Additional work has been done to make sure substation components will be heated properly throughout the winter. In the event of any type of failure that requires on-site maintenance, Meyers said vehicles were being prepped for the conditions as well.
“Anything that we can do ahead of time to try and fix those problems to try and get the system ready is going to be great for our customers,” he said.
Some customers may notice helicopter patrols completing aerial inspections of more than 2,000 miles worth of transmission lines in the Mon Power region. The inspections will look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not visible from the ground.
“All types of things that we can look at, and now when the weather is still half decent, can still prioritize and take care of them before the bad weather hits,” Meyers said.”
Meyers said maintenance efforts to combat weather pattern changes and seasonal changes always matter. But during the winter months, some routine maintenance could save lives.
“We have the potential for wild weather any time of the year,” he said. “There’s no question about it, but I think the impact is probably greater for our customers in the winter time. You can soldier through some days — we don’t like people to do that — but when it’s hot outside it can be uncomfortable; but with the cold, it can be downright dangerous to have days of no electricity and real cold temperatures.”
Additional maintenance will also be done to best keep employees safe if they need to make on-site trips during the winter.