Mon Power installs computers in vehicles

FAIRMONT – Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is installing laptop computers in vehicles to improve service and more efficiently manage manage repairs and upgrades.

The $2.3 million project is expected to be completed by the summer.

The laptops will allow crews to save time by electronically viewing the work orders rather than having to write down the information being phoned or radioed in from the company’s dispatching office.

The advanced technology displays detailed maps of Mon Power’s distribution and transmission systems and flags the location of other company crews working nearby. The laptop computers also use global-positioning technology to provide turn-by-turn directions to work locations down to the specific utility pole level.

“This enhanced mobile technology will help streamline our work process, further strengthening our ability to provide Mon Power customers the quality service they expect and deserve,” said Holly Kauffman, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. “The laptops will help our dispatchers locate and send trucks where they are needed and help our crews respond more efficiently to outage locations.”

Other FirstEnergy utilities also are installing the new computer technology in their vehicles, which allows those crews to coordinate and work efficiently with Mon Power crews during storm restoration efforts. It is anticipated that the new equipment should help company personnel calculate more precise estimated times of restoration, particularly during large-scale outages, because dispatchers can immediately see which crews are on site and engaged in repairs.

Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.