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PG&E Wins Innovation Award for Implementation of Automated Emergency Response Technology

04/02/2015

ARCOS Software Enables Utility to more Efficiently Manage and Dispatch Crews in Response to Unplanned Events

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has won an ARCOS® 2014 innovation award for the utility’s mobile application of ARCOS software to automatically callout crews in response to electric and gas emergencies. PG&E launched a pilot program in 2012 to introduce the new technology and collect feedback from management and union employees. During the pilot, PG&E worked with ARCOS to improve its mobile application from view-only to interactive, so supervisors and field employees can use smart phones to view rosters, request employees to work and have employees accept work. Voice activating technology was also developed during the pilot to encourage safe phone use. The result is a faster, safer and more efficient response to emergencies.

“The success of this program was really driven by the collaboration, discussion and input we received from PG&E managers and IBEW representatives. Their efforts ensured we developed a transparent, understandable and effective process that worked for our employees and our customers,” said Barry Anderson, PG&E’s vice president of emergency preparedness and operations.

PG&E began to introduce the new technology throughout the company in 2014, and the automated emergency response process for crew management and dispatch has proven to be far more effective for PG&E than the manual process used previously. Compared to the manual process, which took 30 to 60 minutes to complete before the pilot program, automated callouts are now completed in about 10 to 20 minutes – with some callouts being filled in as little as 3 minutes. This process allows PG&E to respond to gas and electric emergencies and restore service for customers more quickly and consistently than ever before.

During the pilot program, PG&E’s management and union representatives established workshops, weekly conference calls and other meetings to share thoughts, suggestions and concerns about the new, automated program. The end result was a mutually beneficial system for PG&E and an improved process that other utilities can adopt as well.

At the ARCOS conference in March, representatives from several gas and electric utilities from across the country expressed how this improved application can help them respond to emergencies more quickly and safely. ARCOS is now offering this new technology to other utilities.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Brian Swanson, 415-973-5930

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