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ComEd Earns National Recognition for Outstanding Outage Management in 2023

Research organization Chartwell recognizes three ComEd programs to prevent, manage customer outages

Following the honor of being named the nation’s most reliable utility in 2023, ComEd today announced that it has been recognized by Chartwell, a utility-focused research organization, with three awards for its outstanding outage management in 2023. The awards include: Gold in Emergency Management for ComEd’s Operation Power Play event, Gold in Outage Operations for ComEd’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, and Bronze in Outage Operations for ComEd’s new Area Restoration Management Team program. The Chartwell Outage Best Practices Awards recognize excellence among electric and gas utilities in the areas of Outage Operations and Outage Communications.

“ComEd is committed to supporting our customers by building and maintaining one of the country’s most reliable and resilient power grids, especially in the face of climate change that is bringing more extreme weather to the region – including 11 tornadoes just last week,” said David R. Perez, ComEd COO. “One of the best ways we can support our customers is by taking proactive steps before an outage occurs to ensure that our teams are prepared under any circumstances. Through groundbreaking programs, ComEd employees are continually finding new and innovative ways to support the most reliable grid in the nation.”

“We are very excited to present ComEd with three of this year’s Chartwell Outage Awards. Their work reflects a comprehensive approach to supporting the power grid and customers, from proactive planning to innovative outage response tactics,” said Russ Henderson, Chartwell’s Director of Research. “These programs are strong examples of how technology, planning and collaboration can strengthen recovery efforts across the grid. We hope other utilities can take something useful from ComEd’s experience, and we are excited to see what new outage-related solutions emerge in the industry this year.”

ComEd earned the Gold Emergency Management Award for Operation Power Play, a statewide event that brought together public and private agencies to prepare for, and work together to respond to, simulated disasters. The event included exercises designed to test scenarios and prepare for catastrophic events. One key aspect of the event was a series of tabletop simulations that brought together key response agencies including ComEd, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Fire Department, and the Chicago Office of Emergency management and Communications. These scenarios demonstrated how these agencies can work together to respond in the event of an active threat or physical damage to the grid.

Another Gold Outage Operations Award was earned by ComEd for its UAS Program, which utilizes a drone fleet with real-time data sharing and enhanced operational capabilities to serve the utility space. ComEd’s drone fleet includes more than 50 pilots and 75 aircraft to support field operations throughout northern Illinois. The fleet provides increased damage assessment capabilities, enhanced equipment surveillance throughout the territory, and supports a number of proactive strategies including pre-emptive substation snow clearing.

ComEd also received the Bronze Outage Operations Award for is Area Restoration Management teams, a new approach to managing restoration efforts in hard-hit regions. These dedicated response teams focus their attention during storm restoration on the northern Illinois communities that experienced the worst outages to ensure that these customers are brought back online as quickly as possible.

ComEd began smart grid and process updates in 2011. Since then, more than 21 million power outages have been avoided and overall reliability has improved by more than 70 percent. Last year, ComEd was named the most reliable utility in the United States.

The Outage Best Practice Awards were announced on February 28, 2024, and winners will be presented with the awards this June in Orlando, Florida. These awards build on ComEd’s exceptional performance in the utility space. Earlier this year, ComEd received two awards for exceptional response efforts in 2023 from EEI and also received the 2023 Reliability One® Outstanding System Reliability Award, presented to ComEd by PA Consulting in November of 2023. This award recognized the investment ComEd has made to harden its system and bring greater reliability to customers during severe weather and other events.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers—the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information, visit, and connect with the company on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, and YouTube.

Based in Atlanta, Chartwell, Inc. is a specialized information provider for the utility industry. We provide strategic research and facilitate issue-targeted forums for collaboration among industry peers. Our wide range of services ensures that our members have access to the best, most timely information available to make their business decisions. For more information, visit



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