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LUMA quarterly metrics show performance improvements


LUMA Energy reported positive performance trends across key areas in spite of significant and ongoing inherited operational and infrastructure challenges.

By The Star Staff


As part of its quarterly performance metrics filing to the Puerto Rico Energy Board (PREB), LUMA Energy said Tuesday it provided data demonstrating the company’s continued improved performance across key operational areas, including electricity reliability, customer service and renewable energy.


LUMA Energy took over the operations of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority transmission and distribution system last year but had a less than stellar start amid complaints from the public about blackouts.


The Quarterly Performance Metrics filing, which presents data for the period from December 2021 through February 2022, shows continuous improvement by LUMA’s 3,000-plus utility workers over the course of the company’s first nine months of operations, the company said.


The positive trends across key areas have continued in spite of significant and ongoing operational and infrastructure challenges inherited by LUMA as a result of decades of neglect by the previous operator, the company said.


“While there is much more work to do, LUMA’s 3,000 men and women, and our company-wide commitment to doing what is best for our customers, is making a real and measurable difference for Puerto Rico,” said LUMA President & CEO Wayne Stensby.


“Since our first day of operations, and despite significant operational and infrastructure challenges, LUMA has remained highly focused on improving the infrastructure, providing better customer service and supporting renewable energy adoption,” he said. “This latest performance metrics report shows how hard work and commitment to training can and will result in progress and improved performance.”


While issues such as weather and legacy operational issues remain significant factors impacting day-to-day reliability, the trend over the quarter highlighted that the number of sustained outages experienced by the average customer across the island reduced by 18% when compared to the period June through August 2021. Likewise, the average outage duration for each customer served decreased, with an improvement of as much as 45% from June 2021 to February 2022. To put those numbers in perspective, LUMA reported that the average outage duration for each customer served in the third quarter (December 2021 to February 2022) lasted 97 minutes on average compared to 177 minutes in the quarter spanning June to August 2021.


“While we never want any of our customers to be without power – thanks to our ongoing efforts to upgrade the system by replacing poles, wires and equipment and improving the restoration process, as well as some favorable weather, we saw fewer and shorter outages across the system last quarter,’’ Stensby said.


LUMA said it also achieved shorter wait times both for customers visiting one of LUMA’s 25 customer service centers and for those calling one of its on-island customer contact centers. In the period from December 2021 through February 2022, LUMA representatives answered calls 94% faster than the first period of operations – on average, customer wait times were less than one minute. Likewise, customers spent 25% less time waiting in line at service centers. Improved customer service also resulted in 44% fewer customer complaints during the quarter.


LUMA also reported showing increased renewable energy capacity by 42% compared to June 2021 by connecting more than 17,000 customers with rooftop solar representing an additional 95 megawatts (MW) of distributed generation. The private consortium also says it put in service more than 590 additional vehicles (an increase of some 65%), enabling crews to respond to outages more quickly.


LUMA also reported that while the overall trend across the past nine months on the key metrics that measure safety performance have been positive, the company observed an uptick in safety statistics for the quarter.


“LUMA’s highest priority is the safety, health and well being of our more than 3,000 employees,” Stensby emphasized. “One safety incident, no matter how small, is one too many.”

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