CLEVELAND – Customers served by Cleveland Public Power are fed up with the number of outages they’ve seen over the last few days. Despite CPP officials saying the service is reliable on Tuesday, customers were still having problems Wednesday morning.
“Their people are great but their management sucks,” said William Becker, a CPP customer. “To be very point [blank], they suck. The guy went on TV and says they got it handled. No, you don’t.
Becker says despite the city saying things were under control, he experienced low voltage issues throughout the night and was unable to run his air conditioner, appliances, or even his microwave.
“It is annoying. You pay your bill, they want their money and you give them their money. But when you want service, you get bupkis.”
And he’s not alone. His neighbors are in the same boat, waiting for power crews at the end of the street to make repairs that extended into the afternoon.
Becker and many of his neighbors say they’ve considered switching. But how easy is the process? FirstEnergy says it’s not difficult at all – as simple as running a line from a different pole to your home. A simple switch like that won’t cost you any money upfront.
FirstEnergy’s Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) operates its own power network entirely separate from Cleveland Public Power – although they cover many of the same neighborhoods.
Some streets you’ll see pole lines, dual pole lines, said John Skory, President of CEI. One side of the street you’ll see CPP lines, and on the other side you’ll see CEI lines.”
That means a CPP customer could be without power, while their next-door neighbor with FirstEnergy could be just fine.
CEI also utilizes a system that monitor power grid activity to see where and when outages may occur. They can also quickly switch circuits to prevent the system from being overloaded due to extreme weather conditions.
CPP leaders Ivan Henderson and Robert Davis say weather was the primary reason why so many equipment failures occurred over the weekend. In a Tuesday press conference, they also said they were making future investments to help prevent similar failures in the future while apologizing to customers.
Skory says they prepare for days like this to ensure customers aren’t negatively affected.
“We’re a large utility and we serve a major league city. And our infrastructure is built to accommodate that,” said Skory. “A couple of days of 90 degree heat doesn’t really affect us.”
In the meantime, Cleveland Public Power encouraged customers who are still having problems to call them at 216-664-3156.
However, if you’re ready to make the switch, you can call FirstEnergy at 1-800-589-3101. Make sure you tell customer service you’re a “new construction” customer, meaning they’ll have to run a new line to your home – free of charge.
Your specific electric rate may be higher or lower depending on who you choose as your power generator.