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Social media helped utilities respond to outages

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 11, 2013 6:25 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Electric companies told state utility regulators that social media proved their worth during the power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy. 

Officials from five utilities whose distribution systems were affected by Sandy made presentations yesterday during a state Public Utility Commission forum.

PUC Chairman Robert Powelson says the Sandy outages marked the first time a majority of utilities used Twitter and Facebook to better communicate with customers.

But he called the trend ``a work in progress'' that needs improvement.

Utilities say the storm last fall that knocked out power to more than 1 million customers in eastern Pennsylvania was a once-in-a-century event.

Officials say the experience underscored the need for additional consumer education about how power is restored and the need for more utility training.

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