Learn how AI-driven storm predictions improved Avista’s customer response times and satisfaction


After long dealing with vegetation-related customer outages triggered by dynamic weather in the U.S. Northwest, Avista Utilities needed a better way to predict storms, storm-related incidents, and their impacts.

In a webinar conversation by T&D World, Andrew Barrington, Avista’s Product and Services Manager, and Kyle Carson, AiDash’s Director of Presales, talked about how the utility company addressed its challenges, including by using AiDash Climate Risk Intelligence System™ (CRIS).

Learn how Avista:

  • Improved operational efficiency, minimizing the need for one person to monitor the weather 24/7 and making better storm readiness and response decisions, thanks to 72-hour advance warning of impact to service territory.
  • Decreased estimated restoration time with better planning and preparation for each storm, delivering the right resources, to the right place, at the right time.
  • Expanded communication across internal teams while improving customer communication and awareness.
  • Predicted all storm events and storm-related outages, with 80%+ accuracy during the pilot and 92% accuracy during a January 2024 storm.
  • Expects reduced costs and improved SAIDI and SAIFI in the long term.

Webinar summary:

Kyle Carson, AiDash:

  • Background: Formerly worked with Baltimore Gas and Electric.
  • Company overview: AiDash uses satellite imagery and AI to help critical industries become climate resilient. Their products include the Intelligent Vegetation Management System™ (IVMS) and the Climate Risk Intelligence System™ (CRIS).
  • CRIS functionality: Combines satellite imagery, outage history, weather data, and asset information to predict and manage storm impacts. Provides forecasts, work plans, and real-time notifications.
  • Case studies and results: Highlighted the system’s benefits, such as improved incident forecasts and faster restoration times.

Andrew Barrington, Avista Utilities:

  • Background: Manages products and services at Avista, handling electric services for approximately 400,000 customers.
  • Avista’s crisis: Described a significant gas outage in 2023 and how AiDash helped manage simultaneous storm threats.
  • Avista’s problems and solutions: Previously relied on manual weather monitoring and open-source data. The collaboration with AiDash improved predictive capabilities, allowing for better resource allocation and customer communication.
  • Implementation of CRIS: Detailed the pilot phase, storm data analysis, and configuration for different storm categories. Highlighted the tool’s accuracy and real-time data benefits.
  • Retrospective feature: Allows comparison of current storms with historical data to predict impacts and plan responses.

Q&A Session:

  • Combining data: AiDash integrates open-source weather data with vegetation data.
  • Critical data for predictions: Overhead assets, outage history, procedural information, and other operational data.
  • Customization: CRIS can be configured for different storm categories and severities.
  • Weather event types: Capable of handling hurricanes, thunderstorms, and wildfire mitigation.
  • Cost-benefit analysis: Avista is working on quantifying cost efficiencies from improved response times and customer satisfaction.

Closing Remarks:

Want to learn more about AiDash CRIS? Get a demo.