Rock Hill Utilities, a South Carolina public power utility that began using text messages as an outage notification tool in May, is now looking at expanding its use for other functions to save time and money.

Rock Hill Utilities uses texting to automatically send outage notifications to affected customers, saving time for both the customer and the utility. Customers can also send texts to the utility to report outages. And, with the text messaging system directly connected to the utility’s outage management system, it can pinpoint the location and extent of an outage and possibly help isolate the cause and even provide data for predictive analysis.

Texting has greatly cut down on the calls that utility staff have to handle while providing quicker, more accurate communications with customers, Mike Jolly, director of utilities for Rock Hill Utilities, said. Now, when the utility declares an outage, a message is sent automatically to customers.

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