Progress Energy has the right idea. With the help of iFactor Consulting and Virtual Earth, they are able to illustrate to their customers where outages are in areas they are servicing in Florida.

  • They're using the line drawing to show their coverage areas.
  • They're using custom pushpins to plot out where outages are happening and the magnitude of the outage (large, medium, small, very small).
  • They're use a clustering pushpin to show multiple outages in the same area.
  • They use polygon shading to highlight down to the street what area the outage is happening in.
  • The details of the outage are included in popups when you hover over a specific outage.
  • You can see details of an outage including number of customers currently affected, maximum number of customers affected, time the outage began, and the estimated time until power is restored.
  • You can put in your address and zoom down to the street level to see where your house is respective to an outage.
  • You can select a county from the pull down list to zoom down to that county and see if there are any outages

Progress Energy even put up a "Summary" link to see a graph of outage history and a table of outages by county. You can see how many active outages there are and how many affected customers at any given time. Wow, now that's stepping up to the plate! Most of these energy companies hide behind their phone support and legacy systems. I was in Seattle last winter when the wind storm knocked power from my house in Woodinville for 7 days. The best thing I could get was AM radio updates and a .pdf file which only was updated once. It would be nice to see more power companies step up and get this information out there and more available. My family was in a crisis and had no idea when to expect power! Kudos to Progress Energy for being a leader. Now, does Progress Energy service Seattle? No? Anyone? Bueller?