Having safe and reliable service is even more important today with so many homes now also serving as workplaces and schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At PECO, we’re committed to continuing to provide the safe and reliable service that customers need today, while also planning and investing in the future to continue to meet customer needs and expectations.
We work throughout the year to ensure safe and reliable service. As an essential business, we continued our critical work and embarked on new reliability enhancement projects during the pandemic. Even through challenging circumstances, our ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance the local electric infrastructure contributed to more reliable service for customers across the region last year. In 2020, the number of electric outages decreased 11 percent and outage length has been reduced by 16 percent compared to 2019.
An essential step in providing safe and reliable service includes looking into the future and planning work and projects to ensure our system is ready for the customers of tomorrow. During the next five years, we’ll be investing approximately $6 billion across its electric and natural gas systems, which includes PECO’s Reliability & Resiliency Plan. This strategic work will help to prevent customer outages, modernize the electric grid, reduce the impact of extreme weather on electric infrastructure, and support the adoption of clean energy resources.
We’re also actively exploring innovative technologies to help improve reliability for customers. This includes using drones to enable more efficient equipment inspections and faster damage assessments following storms, installing stronger poles and tree-resistant aerial cable, and installing specialized equipment, known as reclosers, that can automatically restore service or isolate damage. More than 3,000 reclosers have been installed across PECO’s service territory, which have avoided more than two million power outages during the last two years.
We’re committed to providing customers with the safe and reliable service that they deserve and expect while also investing in new technologies and projects to ensure it is proactively prepared to meet the future needs to customers.