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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

LUMA submits 2nd quarterly report to energy regulator

By The Star Staff

LUMA Energy announced Tuesday that it submitted its second quarterly report to the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) detailing the significant progress made to improve the reliability and resiliency of the energy grid, as well as the major activities undertaken to transform the energy system.

The second quarterly (Q2) report documents LUMA’s actions between October 2021 and December 2021, and the continuing progress made by the company’s more than 3,000 energy workers.

“In spite of the continuing legacy challenges that predate LUMA, our 3,000+ strong LUMA team continues to make real progress. The significant progress LUMA has made over these first two quarters of FY 2022 continues to establish the foundation for recovery and transformation of Puerto Rico’s grid infrastructure and energy system over the coming years,” LUMA President & CEO Wayne Stensby said. “While there is more work to do, we are demonstrating our commitment to investing in critical training, prioritizing safety and to building a new generation of Puerto Rican energy workers that will be better equipped to respond to future storms and power outages, provide world class customer service, and help rebuild and improve the energy grid, while also empowering a clean energy future.”

The 60-page Q2 report describes LUMA’s activities that highlight the company’s actions across key areas – including worker safety, customer service, sustainable energy, and system repairs and upgrades. The Q2 report also cites the reality that while real progress is being made across multiple energy priorities, lingering issues that predate LUMA, including the deteriorated state of the energy system, lack of sufficient training, service backlogs and system limitations, and poor vegetation management, pose ongoing challenges that LUMA is working to overcome.

Despite the scope and severity of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) legacy issues, LUMA took the necessary actions to address critical energy priorities in a fiscally responsible manner, Stensby said. As the Q2 report cites, the company has spent 54% of its base rate funded budget and expects that overall spending will align with annual allowances by the end of the fiscal year. As part of its commitment to operate efficiently even as it rebuilds, restores and transforms Puerto Rico’s energy system, LUMA does not expect or anticipate requesting any increase of the Base Rate established by the Energy Bureau’s 2017 Rate Order for its operating costs.

“We are excited to share the real progress that the LUMA team is making, and our sincere commitment to building a world-class Puerto Rican energy workforce. While there is much work to do, and real challenges still exist, we are making continuous progress and improvements that will transform Puerto Rico’s electric system,” Stensby said. “Most importantly, we will plan to invest now while making sure energy remains as affordable as possible and that is why we are committed to operating efficiently and effectively.”

Across multiple energy priorities, including LUMA team safety and training, customer service, repairing and restoring the grid, advancing federally funded projects, and empowering the growth of renewable energy, LUMA’s second quarter of operation reflects strong commitment to continuous improvement, Stensby said.

Among the examples of LUMA’s achievements are the following:

1. Decreased the number of safety incidents and decreased the severity of incidents, as the recordable injury rate declined 7% in Q2 and the severity rate declined 80% in Q2.

2. Completed more than 20,000 hours of safety and technical training courses at the LUMA College for Technical Training.

3. Received the fewest customer claims under Act 57-2014 in the history of the law.

4. Answered the phone 95% faster over the quarter, reducing the wait time from nine minutes and five seconds in September to 23 seconds in December.

5. Assisted more than 465,000 customers in customer service centers, and sent 96,000 responses via direct message on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn during Q2.

6. 609,982 customers registered an electronic Mi LUMA account and the Mi LUMA app was downloaded 451,127 times, as of Dec. 31, 2021.

7. Continued to activate Net Energy Metering (NEM) service for more than 7,500 solar customers, bringing the fiscal year to date total to over 15,000 connections.

8. Brought the total of PREB-approved FEMA projects/programs to 132, representing $7.4 billion of federally funded work.

9. Replaced 861 utility poles, bringing the year-to-date total to over 1,900.

10. Responded and restored power to customers during more than 11,000 outage events.

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