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Puerto Rico isn’t only U.S. jurisdiction with electric service interruption

By on December 10, 2018

SAN JUAN – If you think Puerto Rico is the only U.S. jurisdiction with unreliable electric service after Hurricane Maria, you may be wrong.

The average U.S. electric customer was out of power for 7.8 hours (470 minutes) in 2017, which was almost double the amount of time in 2016, a situation blamed on the weather, according to a recent energy study.

“This increase resulted from major events. When excluding major events, the average duration of interruptions customers experienced was almost identical in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the average customer experienced 1.4 interruptions when including major events and 1.0 interruption when excluding major events,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest study reads.

The states that had the greatest average customer minutes interrupted in 2017 were Maine, Florida, New Hampshire, Georgia and Vermont. In early 2017, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont experienced several winter storms. Florida and Georgia experienced long interruptions from Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The average customer interruption time in these five states ranged from 14.6 hours (874 minutes) to 41.5 hours (2,493 minutes).

While the entity said Puerto Rico experienced the longest blackout in U.S. history in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the data in its analysis did not include Puerto Rico.

The five states with the lowest average customer minutes interrupted in 2017 were the District of Columbia, New Jersey, North Dakota, Arizona, and South Dakota. These states’ average interruption ranged from 58 minutes (Washington, D.C.) to 95 minutes (South Dakota). Utilities in these states did not experience many major events such as hurricanes, blizzards or tornados.

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