Following several major storms in about a year—including two powerful near-hurricanes—Jersey Central Power & Light has, fairly or not, suffered some pretty harsh criticism from both customers and municipalities.
On Thursday, the utility announced a series of new operational practices that, according to a press release, "will provide additional information to municipal officials about power outage restoration efforts during significant storm events."
The JCP&L enhancements will include, according to the press release: 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; and 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,” said Don Lynch, president of JCP&L. “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.”
In addition, the release notes JCP&L is developing a number of "mobile technology tools" to help customers report outages and access other important information about their accounts. A customer app for Apple or Android-based smartphones also is expected to launch this month.