Thursday, August 5, 2010

Botox and power lines, oh my!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Colorado Springs Utilities does a lot of good things. It can be very efficient, responsive and cost-conscious.

But does the PR staff really have to compare Utilities' repair of electric lines with wrinkle treatments and breast implants?

It's pretty bizarre to see Botox and underground cable in the same paragraph. Which goes to show why Utilities' public communications people get the big bucks. Is there a PR awards category for most incongruous promo?

She needs a Utilities treatment.
  • She needs a Utilities treatment.

Check out Dave Grossman's press release issued yesterday about what Botox and Utilities have in common.

Silicone and Botox treatments are all the rage in Hollywood. While the rich and famous seek a younger look, a similar concept is extending the life of electric equipment here in the Pikes Peak Region. Colorado Springs Utilities is on track to inject approximately 115,000 feet of underground cable in 2010, saving more than $650,000 compared to the cost of cable replacement.

To keep the community’s view of the Rocky Mountains unobstructed, Colorado Springs Utilities began putting most new electric cable underground in the 1960s. Today, about 75 percent of all electric lines are underground.

The expected lifespan of buried cable is 20 to 30 years. After decades in the ground, the insulation around the cable can deteriorate and lead to a higher failure rate. One way to maintain reliable electric service is to dig up and replace the aging cable. However, that process is costly and can be disruptive to customers.

In many cases, a better solution is cable injection. Colorado Springs Utilities injects a silicone fluid through the cable to rejuvenate the cable insulation. The fluid fills the microscopic voids and defects in the insulation, restoring its ability to properly insulate the electric cable. Cable injection is about 40 percent less expensive than cable replacement.

The manufacturer warranties the work up to 20 years, and Utilities experts believe the injection process could delay the need to replace cable by 40 years or more.

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