Efficiency Expert at FPL
FPL works hard every day to deliver the lowest electric bills in the state. A major way it keeps these costs down is by tapping into the experience and efficiency expertise of its employees.
Six Sigma Master Black Belt Craig Stepien is at the center of one of the most exciting areas of FPL. He's a Director of Technology & Quality and spends his days making sure that FPL customers are getting the benefits from using the right technology.
Whether it's examining how existing software is being utilized, seeing if "homegrown" solutions are possible or benchmarking technology that others are successfully using, Craig keeps his eye on the big picture.
The evolution to a smarter electric grid is creating many opportunities that will help provide restoration specialists with information faster and suggestions for moving resources, enabling us to return power faster and give customers a better overall experience. Craig thinks that better and faster data will allow FPL to focus more on preventive maintenance, which will improve reliability and keep operating costs down.
What are some of the biggest changes you expect in the coming years?
Historically, we mostly find out about outages by a customer calling us. It surprises most people, but in most cases we're not able to detect when you're out of power. We're studying technology that will allow us to detect power issues for customers before they even notice an issue.
Why is faster issue identification important?
This allows us to act on "loss of service" tickets faster and more cost effectively. We will be provided data on potential issues immediately, rather than having to wait for a crew to be deployed, travel to the site, investigate a potential issue and report back. We estimate that this could reduce the number of trucks we have to deploy by about 25,000 annually. This change could equate to millions of dollars of savings in overall operational costs.
Why is a smarter grid important?
A smarter grid will improve the data we are able to examine. This is important because it allows us to be more proactive and focus on the right things, like preventive maintenance. This will help cut down on the number of overall service interruptions and cut the amount of time to return service after an interruption.