Reliable electric service is a critical public need. Our nation’s economic success and security depends upon our ability to preserve this fundamental resource. It is an indispensable part of our everyday lives, making life easier. We expect it to be there all the time to power the machines, electronics and systems that drive just about everything we do.
Our industry has a strong track record of maintaining high levels of reliability. When power outages do occur, we respond quickly - and unlike any other industry - we can call on our peers to provide assistance when and where we need it. Our decades-old mutual assistance network is the cornerstone of our commitment to get the power back on as quickly as possible following a major incident. Technology is increasingly important to reliability – for us and our customers.
We face many challenges affecting our ability to maintain the 262,000-miles in our transmission and distribution network while also upgrading infrastructure to meet future demands and changes occurring in our generation portfolio. Our challenges include the age of our infrastructure, the threat of external interruptions, retiring coal units, the need for greater capacity and appropriate market valuation of existing capacity, the difficulty of siting new facilities, new and future environmental regulations, and the cost of needed investments.
In response, we are investing in infrastructure and using technology to proactively prevent and mitigate service disruptions and to better communicate with our customers. Through our lean initiatives we are identifying processes and procedures to improve the experience our customers have when interacting with AEP.