November 2, 2012 in Business, Green Local News, Region

SEL offers Sandy discounts

Schweitzer lab reaches out after East Coast superstorm
By The Spokesman-Review
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Pullman’s Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. is giving electric utilities and large customers struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy a 30 percent discount on new equipment.

SEL, which designs and sells a range of products that utilities and large companies use to manage power distribution, is tripling the discount it usually offers after natural disasters, said Business Director Erik Newman.

For emergencies, SEL typically offers a 10 percent cut and sends all needed components with expedited shipping.

“Once we saw the enormity of the damage that was done on the East Coast, and based on our values of community and customer focus, we knew we had to do more,” Newman said.

The company also offered a 30 percent discount during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The primary customers affected by the storm are major utilities that have been SEL customers – Consolidated Edison in New York state and Public Service Electric & Gas in New Jersey.

It’s uncertain what volume of orders the storm will produce. “They’re still in the process of assessing the damage,” Newman said.

Even before the damage happened, SEL was contacting large corporate customers and the utilities, letting them know that SEL would provide rapid response, Newman added.

SEL electronic components in most demand will be protective relays, automation controllers and digital communications devices. Many utilities increasingly rely on automated devices that send information across the network, monitoring voltage and identifying disruptions or spikes in power.

One item is the SEL faulted circuit indicator. The inexpensive device is attached to power lines and starts flashing when power is disrupted. Power crews can quickly track the flashing indicators to find the source of a line break, Newman said.

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