With cold weather ahead, Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is conducting inspections and maintenance to help keep power flowing to customers in its West Virginia service area this winter.
“Our customers are counting on safe, reliable power to keep them comfortable in the months ahead, and it’s essential that we take proactive steps to ensure that our system and our utility vehicles are well prepared for the challenges of winter weather,” said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations.
Mon Power utility personnel are inspecting substation equipment and winterizing substation control buildings to ensure that essential components of its system continue to function properly during cold weather.
Electricians also inspect critical components using special thermovision cameras, which capture infrared images that can reveal potential problems that aren’t visible through regular visual inspections. The infrared technology can identify equipment issues such as loose connections and corrosion, for example, and utility workers are able to make repairs to prevent potential power outages in the future.
Tree trimming throughout the year also helps meet the rigors of winter operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages caused by snow, high winds and ice. Mon Power tree contractors expect to complete trimming along more than 5,200 miles of power lines in 2022.
Additionally, company bucket trucks and other vehicles are being inspected to help ensure safe operation during the winter season. The condition of tires and air braking systems, which can freeze up if moisture is present, are carefully examined. In addition, the company ensures snow removal equipment is on hand so that employees can safely access work sites and company facilities.
At its regulated power plants, Fort Martin Power Station and Harrison Power Station, Mon Power has completed maintenance on plant equipment and executed its winterization plan to ensure optimal performance during the winter months.
Customers can review tips to prepare in advance of severe weather, and view restoration updates if storms do cause power outages, by visiting FirstEnergy’s 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
With the winter storm season also comes frigid temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to keep their homes comfortable while managing their electricity bill this cold season. The following tips can help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:
- Set thermostats as low as comfort will allow. Every degree a customer can decrease the temperature in their home will result in using about 3% less energy during the winter.
- Seal any leaks around windows and door frames with caulk or weather stripping to prevent cold air from sneaking into the home.
- Close the fireplace damper when it is not in use to keep cold air out.
- Close the drapes at night. During the day, only open those that receive direct sunlight.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures lower when no one is home and to increase the temperature before arrival back home.
- Check furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing a heating system to work harder than necessary.
- Make sure one’s home is properly insulated. If there is less than six inches of insulation, a person will benefit by adding more.
- Payment arrangements and assistance programs are available for customers who need help with their electric bills. For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist.
Mon Power serves about 395,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties. Follow Mon Power at www.mon-power.com, on Twitter @MonPowerWV, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MonPowerWV.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.