When the power goes out, a new SaskPower map can instantly show you the size of an outage.
With many people turning to their smartphones as soon as the lights go out, SaskPower has put together an app to give people the information they want, instantly.
Jonathan Tremblay is the communications person for SaskPower and explained the interactive map tracks both planned power outages and reports of unplanned power outages.
“For the unplanned outages, those accidents, weather events, wildlife getting into things — that’s where we’ll communicate our estimated time to reconnect everyone when we know it,” Tremblay explained.
“Sometimes we won’t be able to find the damage until we do some more investigation but as soon as we know we’ll put it there.”
SaskPower introduced an app a year ago to provide updates to people based on their specific area. It also has a feature that allows people to report street light outages. The Crown corporation will continue to provide the same information on Twitter.
The interactive map will be integrated into the app by July, but is already available on the SaskPower website.
As for how it works, Tremblay said the map software is actually plugged into system.
“We do have a lot of software behind the scenes that is tracking, dispatching and we were trying to find a way to make a visual representation of that that people could actually see. So that’s what’s happening,” he said.
“Our people in the field are plugging in their reports to our system and that map is showing what we know here internally.”
Between the app and the map, all people really need to do is make sure their phones are charged up before the power goes out.
Despite all of this modern technology, Tremblay added SaskPower still requires people to actually call in reports of power outages.
“The one thing that our system can’t tell us is where there’s an outage … we don’t know until someone calls us,” he said.
The app and map were developed internally by SaskPower employees at no additional expense.