18:00 PM

Perspective: Powered By Technology

As a society, we have a love-hate relationship with technology. We hate being tethered to our phones and computers, but love that it means we can reach out to other people and learn nearly anything we want to know.

Technology evolves at a rapid pace. As brilliant people fi gure out how to do things faster, better and cheaper, we increasingly rely on technology in our personal and professional lives. I’m still not sure we are better off with smartphones and now smartwatches; life was more peaceful when we didn’t have Twitter streams to read, texts to respond to and emails to fi le, but being connected does have its advantages.

Because technology touches everything in our lives, it’s important to focus on those areas that are most important to us. At my house, that means video games. At Jackson EMC, we invest in technology that improves the reliability of your electric service.

Our network automatically opens and closes switches when limbs or wildlife interrupt service. These momentary faults are reported and restored as part of our integrated outage management system, which connects everything from the meters installed at your homes to our network of substations and distribution lines and ultimately to the coordinators at work in System Control.

In some areas, we can isolate faulted line sections and restore power to large sections of customers remotely, using automated switches.

Using a computer-based prediction model and an advanced metering infrastructure, when outages occur we can estimate where the problem is based on where meters report. This technology saves time, allowing us to restore power for members faster.

Self-reporting meters are great, and they’ve significantly reduced the amount of time it takes for us to restore power, but they’ll never replace your eyes and ears. You provide valuable information when you see a downed power line or hear a fuse blow. Smart meters let us know it is out; you can help us learn why by reporting outages online or calling in.

To be innovative as an energy supplier we have to look at what’s coming next. Technology is essential to the work we do and it’s one of our ongoing strategic initiatives. We’re always working to improve how we employ technology to ensure we are doing everything we can to give you effective, effi cient, reliable electric service.

Technology has not replaced the need for the guy in the bucket truck. At the end of the day, it’s those people who work every day, and some nights, who keep your lights on. This month, we celebrate the men and women who work on electrical lines; at Jackson EMC, Dwight Frost has worked them the longest. He’s worked as a lineman and now a foreman here for 44 years. Technology goes a long way in making his job safer and faster, but it can’t replace his dedication to keeping your lights on. The people who come to work every day at Jackson EMC are who make this company the best.

Let me know what you think; send an email to [email protected]