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JCP&L Says It Will Improve Communication With Towns During Storms

Utility company lists communication enhancements

Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) is saying that it will improve its communication with towns during "significant storm events," after the utility company was criticized by many municipal officials after Hurricane Sandy.

JCP&L announced new practices and upcoming technology improvements at meetings on Jan. 3 in Eatontown and Morristown with members of the League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the New Jersey State Police.

A news release from JCP&L states that the communication enhancements will include:

  • Providing municipalities with maps showing electrical circuit routes in their communities;
  • Locating JCP&L municipal liaisons in company field offices to maintain contact with local officials;
  • Hosting targeted teleconference briefings for municipal officials about localized restoration work;
  • Deploying additional company personnel to work with municipal representatives;
  • Training county and municipal first responders on electrical safety;
  • Participating in community advisory board meetings with county and municipal leaders and emergency agencies to outline the company's restoration procedures;

"We are committed to continuous improvement for our customers and welcome the opportunity to work with state, county and municipal officials over the next several months as we implement these new practices," JCP&L President Don Lynch said in the release.

"These enhancements, which are based on feedback from customers and municipal officials following Hurricane Sandy, are designed to provide more outreach and collaboration to elected officials and customers about the company's restoration process and priorities on a community by community basis."

JCP&L said it is also developing several mobile technology tools to help customers report outages and access information about their electric account.

"This month, the company will launch a new customer app that can be downloaded to Apple or Android smartphones," the JCP&L release states. "The app will make it easier for customers to report a power outage, view the company's 24/7 Power Center maps, or access their JCP&L accounts from a mobile device. The app will be similar to the company's new mobile website, which is available now by visiting www.jcp-l.com from a smartphone."

The release also states that the ability for its customers to receive outage or account information via text message or email are under development and should be available later this year.

Improvements also are being made to JCP&L's 24/7 Power Center, "including a greater level of detail about power outages, and redesigning content to ensure customers can find the information they need before, during and after a major storm."

. January 06, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Well isn't that a small price to pay? Ever since Sandy, whenever the wind blows too hard or the rain falls too hard we lose power now. They need to start looking into better fixes for the problems at hand.
Melifried January 06, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Maybe instead of focusing on letting customers know (after the customers usually ALREADY know) when power goes out or comes back on, JCP&L should focus on FIXING the infrastructure of the service that they're supposed to be providing so that every time a squirrel farts the power actually stays on. You're already charging more for inferior service. Sorry, but I'm REALLY upset & still "shell-shocked" from being out of power for 2weeks from Sandy & the intermittently weeks after. My 5 year old child has panic attacks now whenever there's a storm in fear of the power being out. JCP&L should take the extra money that they're now charging customers & hire NEW management who will focus on permanent changes in their service & infrastructure.
1stcav January 06, 2013 at 02:21 PM
JCP&L always has fixes after the fact, never before...1 Energy...NOT !!! Maybe in OHIO , but NOT in NJ.....keep those generators we were FORCED to buy because of them as stated above...this IS there new norm for NJ......glad I don't have any stock in this Co......Not people friendly at all...money first , service second.....will give you power when we feel like it, who ya gonna call...they have the market sewed up ...
Boardwalk January 06, 2013 at 03:01 PM
This is good but JCP &. L needs to work on maintaining the system so we don't have continual failures in the first place. Their current philosophy seems to be we will fix it when it fails rather than keeping the system well maintained so it can withstand storms.
Isheet Mipants January 06, 2013 at 03:35 PM
This is sooo true! But the problem lies with Firstenergy (In Ohio) They don't give a rats ass about JCP&L in New Jersey! Its all about shareholders lining their pockets!They sold off all their generation here and rely on ratepayers paying overestimated bills making interest to line their pockets!
Tom January 06, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Try doing some maintenace on your system. You have downsized for years and it has now caught up to you. Trees are growing all around the lines and cutting the top half and leaving the bottom half to Verizon because the limbs are no longer on the power is not resolving any potential outage. When the wind blows those limbs left behind will still bring down whatever is on the pole, including the pole. I couldn't believe when I asked the tree service you hired why they were not cutting lower limbs, the answer was, "there not our lines". I had to laugh at that since it was the dumbest thing I ever heard. I realize you share the poles but maybe instead of communicating with someone who needs to know that their power will be restored when you get to it, try talking to Verizon and communicating about clearing the limbs around the entire pole. Don't get me started on who the genius was who selected swamp areas and low lying land to build a substation on.
Random Poster January 06, 2013 at 04:19 PM
i can see the transcripts from the next "event" now.....between the local towns OEM and JCP&L TOWN,OEM : we got a pretty big storm headed our way, whats your game plan? JCP&L : yes i see that, so plan on expecting outages lasting any where from 23 hrs to 3 weeks... TOWN, OEM : so you will have crews and material stationed in certain areas on stand by? JCP&L : yeah, you can say that....our share holders only allowed a certain amount of money to be spent, so lets hope the storm is not as bad as it sounds. TOWN, OEM : that response sounds a little fishy, don't it? JCP&L : we can only do so much at once, our guys need time to sleep and finish there movie on the portable dvd players we allow them to use while we wait for shareholder approval first.... TOWN, OEM : i see, so i guess the workforce sits around waiting for corporate to tell them what they are allowed to fix and how much money they have to do it? JCP&L : yeah for the most part....your towns people might be without power, but our share holder need to make more money so they come first....
Rachel Tomasi January 06, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I'm with the others whose first thought was also 1) screw letting us know were sitting in the dark, yeah when you'll get to us would be helpful info to have especially those with kids n animals or elderly living there, though certainly we all deserve to know but some need to plan more. 2) instead fix the darn problem. I've lost count of how many outrages we've had since a wk before Sandi and that's counting the 2 wks as one outtage. It went out the day before. It went out the day after it came back and about every 5 days since. WTF!!!? we sure dont pay discount rates. Why do we get bottom of the barrel service????
JOHNNY Done it January 06, 2013 at 05:36 PM
This how it works Its maintance by crisis So the stake holders share don't drop , In this case FEMA is going to be providing some aid ,Just think of all the substations poles , Transformers that should have been replaced for normal maintance now billed to the storm..What a deal for the stake holders .In the end we all pay,,,Just more US taxpayers spread the bill out
Mr J January 06, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Oh Remember when they force fed that line of crap to us with deregulation coming you will see lower bills and improved service. What crap did they sing after Hurricane Irene "we promise to improve service" again a lie.. I had the opportunity to attend an OEM lessons learned meeting last year after hurricane Irene in NJ and JCP&L was present. I can tell you the reps that the company sent were just clueless. They had no answers. The local OEM director said you sent people hear answering the phone taking complaints and making a nice list but had know idea what to do to resolve the issue and who to call. So hold you breath and get ready for the next rate increase that.s the only thing you can count on with this company.
Ken G January 06, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Isn't this the same crap they said after Irene?
Goldenmane January 06, 2013 at 06:23 PM
I remember before, when it was still just JCP&L and no First Energy involved. You always saw JCP&L trucks out working on something. Not repairing, but upgrading or clearing tree branches or some such thing. Now you never see them. Would be interesting to know how many JCP&L crews are actually in the state. I'm 65 and I can't remember ever being without power for more than a day and we certainly had dreadful weather and power outages before Hurricane Irene (and they didn't have to bring in crews from anywhere else). JCP&L (First Energy) said they learned something from Hurricane Irene. I wonder what that was. I'm still trying to figure out how the middle section of our mobile home park had power (or never lost it) and the north and south sections had no power for more than two weeks.
proud January 07, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Losing power is a significant inconvenience for even three hours, let alone three weeks. Losing a home or a life can't be quantified. Step back ,look around, and take in the whole picture whilst you whine.
Fred RBPatch January 07, 2013 at 04:35 AM
@proud- what the hell are you talking about?
Project Bluebeam January 07, 2013 at 06:47 AM
Proud is on the sauce again.
proud January 07, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Ridiculous.
Xavier January 07, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Unless the infrastructure is buried underground, get ready for longer and more regular occurrences of power outages.
Carol Czitrom January 07, 2013 at 05:39 PM
How can they be more responsive? they don't even answer the phone, or, you can wait (or be called back) in 30 minutes! huh? if I ran my business like that I'd have NO BUSINESS - as well they shouldn't! monopolies!
Joey Joe March 16, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Just gotta ask yourself....why didn't we lose Natural Natural Gas during Sandy????? I think we all know the answer....it was because most of their stuff is underground. Trees falling and wind blowinghad no effect on our Gas Service.... SO WHY THEN doesn't JCPL spend the money to put all of their lines underground ???? In the long run it would save them money in restoration efforts...... Gas

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