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Local electric companies invest heavily in the infrastructure

PPL Electric and Metropolitan Edison, the two local utility companies that provide power to homes and businesses in the area, have done something not seen in the region since the 1970's; invested heavily into the power infrastructure.

Technology upgrades were done to improve electric service and reliability. These upgrades reduced the number of outages and the amount of time that it takes to recover from the same. This was accomplished at both companies by adding transmission lines, building more sub-stations, and maintaining the areas around the power lines.

PPL, which invested $1 billion in 2013 and plans to add another billion in improvements for 2014, installed 150 Smart Grid devices. This technology allows the company the ability to quickly identify trouble spots and isolate them.

In addition they added sub-stations in Plainfield and Springfield Townships, as well as Trexlertown and Trambauersville. With the completion of transmission lines between Coopersburg to Quakertown, the company improved overall system reliability.

Met-Ed, spent $116 million in 2013 and plans to add $140 million more to that total in 2014. The investment went into completing the Northkill sub-station in Berks county, improving and finishing inspection reliability programs for circuits, overhead and underground components, and utility poles.

Also the company started vegetation management and tree trimming programs, and installed automated devices that can remotely open and close circuits.