By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Public Utility Commission says PECO and other power utilities should have done a better job of communicating with customers during the power outages caused by February’s ice storm.

The PUC’s report on the response of power utilities to the ice storm concludes that communications was the biggest problem.

“Many of the phone calls that we got, much of the frustration that we heard during the public hearings that we held as part of our review of this, was that people were frustrated by the lack of information, or the inaccurate information, they were getting from the utilities, including PECO,” says PUC Spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.

Kocher says some people were even getting phone calls saying their power was already back on when it was not, often because a main line in a particular area had been restored but smaller service lines embedded within that main line were not.

The utilities will have to report back to the PUC in September on their progress toward improving their response.