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Woodstock Hydro Boast Good Numbers When It Comes To Power Outages

Woodstock has some of the better numbers in the province when it comes to the frequency and duration of power outages. It may be a surprise to some city residents. Woodstock Hydro's Engineering Manager Jay Heaman says after the last power outage earlier this month, the utility received a few scathing complaints from the public. In a 2011 report from the Ontario Energy Board, Woodstock has some of the better numbers for frequency and duration of power outages in the province. Woodstock averaged just over 1.5 outages of over 1-minute in length, and a half-hour of total outage time. Based on those numbers, Woodstock ranks better than Tillsonburg, St. Thomas and London, and is on par with Brantford in terms of outages (stats below). As Heaman tells Heart FM, with every outage, they try and find ways to prevent it in the future. "We see it (outages) as a failure to our customer, and we try and do root-cause analysis on that. These are investigations that maybe people don't appreciate that we're doing in the background. We do take them very seriously. We speak with our industrial customers, and we get it that they have tens of thousands of dollars worth of lost productivity, down time in labour, equipment that is maybe damaged sometimes during surges and those kinds of things. We're doing everything we can to try and improve." As a result, equipment failures have been decreasing steadily since 2007. However, Heaman says there are other areas they still need to work on. "We can't say the same for animal contact, and we can't say the same for lighting. There's a school of thought that maybe there's not much you can do about lightning. That's not true. There's a lot of technology out there...so when we do have lightning strikes the impact is mitigated, or reduced, where the number of customers affected is lessened." But Heaman adds they're always looking for public feedback. "Whether it's a phone call, or an e-mail...whether it's constructive criticism...all of that we take into account and table that at our own planning sessions. The public have a stake in improving the system as well." Avg. Duration of Outages/Yr. (in hours) Frequency of Outages (1-minute outages/yr) Brantford 0.49 1.24 Chatham 1.12 1.06 Erie Thames 4.45 2.04 Guelph 2.02 2.45 Haldimand County 8.53 3.89 Hydro One 22.11 4.57 Kitchener/Wilmot 1.53 1.34 London 1.86 2.36 St. Thomas 1.72 1.69 Tillsonburg 2.62 3.62 Woodstock 0.51 1.58 *Based on 2011 reported stats from Ontario Energy Board *Does not measure momentary disruptions

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