Meet Chris, one of our 100+ customer design technicians. She plays an important role in getting new electric service set up for customers before the work is scheduled with a line crew.
We spoke with Chris to learn more about her role and her relationship with AEP Ohio customers.
Q: What does a Customer Design Technician do?
A: I’m responsible for creating the design that will bring electricity into a customer’s home or business. Designs are required when a new home or building is constructed, or when upgrades, such as an addition to a structure, require additional power. As part of a new construction project, we’re also responsible for ensuring payment contracts, various agreements and permits are in place. The job is then handed off to our line crews to schedule installation of new equipment, including electric poles.
During outages I also help identify any damaged equipment in the field. Major storms require “all hands on deck” so we can restore power to our customers as quickly as possible.
Q: What helps you be good at your job?
A: Two interests that I feel make me an effective Customer Design Technician are my love for the outdoors and getting to know new people. I have about 450 appointments a year and spend a lot of time in the field, sometimes in remote areas. So if I didn’t enjoy the outdoors, this part of my job would be challenging. And my ability to communicate well with others allows me to better serve my customers.
Q: Many customers are DIYers. What is the most common safety hazard you see?
A: Many customers unintentionally build structures or plant trees too close to our power lines or equipment. They may not notice or simply not understand the safety hazards or potential for causing power outages that this may cause.
Q: What’s the most important thing you want customers to understand about their requests?
A: With any job, we’re required to meet AEP Ohio, NESC and OSHA standards, as well as state codes and additional requirements of some localities. There are times when customer requests aren’t possible because they don’t meet these standards and could create a safety hazard. We always work hard to meet customer expectations while adhering to all requirements.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Many customers only build once in a lifetime, so I enjoy helping bring a customer’s lifelong dream to reality. I want to provide customers with the best overall solution and be satisfied with the end result.
Starting a project? Do this first
We always advise customers to call 811 before starting any project that involves digging, such as planting trees. More information to consider before planting a tree can be found here: AEPOhio.com/info/TreeTrimming/TreeClearance.aspx
When planning the construction of a structure, such as a garage or pool, customers should reach out to AEP Ohio by calling 800-672-2231 or Apply Online.