Gulf Power receives Emergency Recovery Award for 2014 storms
Gulf Power

Through two unique and dangerous storms, Gulf Power employees worked safely to serve their customers, and the Edison Electric Institute noticed.

Today, EEI presented Gulf Power with the association’s “Emergency Recovery Award” for outstanding power restoration efforts in 2014 following a severe ice storm in January and major flooding in April. 

Gulf Power had received this award in response to hurricanes — but 2014 was different.

On Jan. 28, 2014, a major winter storm hit Pensacola for the first time in more than 40 years. The wintry mix interrupted service to 52,107 customers in Gulf Power’s service territory. More than 300 electrical workers and tree personnel from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi came to help Gulf Power employees restore power to customers. Within three days, service was restored to all impacted customers. 

On April 28-29, 2014, historic rainfall of more than 20 inches flooded many areas in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Many bridges and roads were washed out, and service to 58,532 Gulf Power customers was interrupted. Service was restored to all of Gulf Power’s customers who could receive power in two days.

“We prepare year-round for storm restoration, but 2014 was unique since we rarely have wintry conditions or severe flooding,” said Vice President of Power Delivery Wendell Smith. “Our lineworkers, engineers, team leaders and support staff — all our employees — went about their tasks safely as we restored power as quickly as possible.” 

Even on blue-sky days, Gulf Power continues to improve its reliability to its customers. In 2014, the company posted its best numbers in recent history in keeping the lights on. Improved technology and the company’s largest power grid construction program are among the reasons.

 “Our employees know how important it is to get the customers’ power on as fast and as safely as possible,” Smith said. “This EEI award is a testament to them as we continue to focus on our customers every day. 

The award is presented annually to EEI member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Spring CEO and Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Gulf Power’s exemplary efforts to restore service demonstrate the industry’s commitment to serving its customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “We commend the crews who braved dangerous conditions in the wake of these severe storms as they diligently worked to safely and quickly restore service.”

Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 436,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page, “Gulf Power Company.” News information can be found at