READING - Penelec will consolidate its service operations to increase efficiency and to enhance response times in the utility's Altoona, Ebensburg, Bedford and Huntingdon areas, the utility announced Tuesday.
The consolidation is expected to be completed this fall.
Penelec facilities in Ebensburg, Bedford and Huntingdon will be closed and 72 employees will be relocated to the Altoona Service Center, Penelec spokesman Joe Cerenzia said. No jobs will be eliminated.
The new Altoona reporting location and a revised shift staffing schedule will provide Penelec with greater flexibility to respond to service calls.
"We view it as a positive; it will improve our response time. It gives us much more flexibility to have crews consolidated in one service center 24 hours a day," Cerenzia said. "For each shift, we can configure crews so they are available on a 24-hour rotation on a regular basis. The advantage of having a single service center is they can be more responsive at off times."
Providing safe, reliable service to its customers remains Penelec's top priority, regional President John Skory said.
"With this change, we will now have line workers regularly available in the field 24 hours a day. Configuring our service operations this way will allow us to respond more quickly to police and fire emergency calls, and still provide the flexibility to bring in additional workers as needed for other major jobs or work," Skory said in a statement.
Penelec serves about 590,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.