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34 www. bus- ex. com October 08 Keith Regan learns how Connecticut Light & Power Company's focus on the delivery side of the industry has enabled it to improve its customer service both in quiet times and during the worst storm events customerfocus powerof The

C October 08 www. bus- ex. com 35 customers generating their own power on site— as well as new construction programs that encourage builders to build more energy- effi cient homes and programs aimed at limited- income customers. " We're a trusted source of information on those issues," Bowes adds. " Our customers look to us to provide recommendations and services in that area. Customers look to their electric utility to be the most knowledgeable people about energy issues." Of course, customers also want their electricity to always be available to them, and a huge part of the work of the customer service team at CL& P involves being ready to restore service as quickly as possible during minor or major storm events. Many of the company's 2,200 employees have dual roles and have to be constantly prepared to shift from routine duty to emergency restoration service on a moment's notice. Mock storms are staged to keep everyone sharp for when the real thing strikes. Much of the effort is about keeping information fl owing freely from customers to the utility and back. " I like to say restoration of power is 51 percent communication," says Bowes. " A big part of what we Connecticut Light & Power Company onnecticut Light & Power Company ( CL& P) handles the distribution of electric power to 1.2 million customers in 149 communities across Connecticut. Part of publicly traded Northeast Utilities, CL& P, according to Ken Bowes, vice president of customer operations, has a laser-like focus on delivering customers what they want and need. In turbulent economic times, those customer demands include fi nding ways to reduce energy costs. That means that like many utilities, CL& P fi nds itself in the position of helping customers use less of its product, but it has embraced that role and become a go- to source for information on energy savings and sustainability issues. " Good outreach programs are essential," Bowes says. " The new landscape means we have the task of separating kilowatt- hour sales from revenues and fi nding ways to grow revenues even as we help our customers fi nd ways to reduce their energy consumption." Those efforts include conservation and load-management programs, incentives for innovations such as distributed generation— with large