Chris Schulz Published

PSC Creates Task Force To Normalize Utility Outage Notifications

Crews work shoveling black gravel along a roadside.
Crews work to fill holes dug to drain water filled gas lines.
Briana Heaney/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Public Service Commission initiated a task force on utility and cable outages Wednesday. 

The move follows an order issued April 8 by the commission to 14 regulated state utilities and cable providers to explain how they notify customers of service outages and what plans they have to improve notification systems.

The order creating the task force acknowledges all of the named utilities responded with the requested information within three weeks. However, the commission learned that each utility and cable service provider has differing practices and procedures for notifying their customers of outages such as door hangers, telephone calls, e-mails, text messages, website, and/or social media posts.

The task force will work to recommend best practices and universal procedures for notifying customers of utility and cable service outages. 

Commission staff will lead the task force and utilities originally named will be required to participate. The task force must hold its first meeting by June 14 and must make its final recommendations to the commission within 60 days.