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JCP&L to Launch New App, Other Enhancements

App to launch sometime in January, according to press release.

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.

Rich January 05, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Glad to hear it. It will be much easier getting their inaccurate information from an app, instead of their website.
BeachBum January 05, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Useless - Dump JCP&L - Look for other options for the town - Sussex Rural Electric needs to expand their area
Liberty January 05, 2013 at 02:24 PM
All well & good, BUT....if another storm like Sandy occurs and out-of-state linemen, etc., are brought in to help---JCP&L, and municipal officials, need to better utilize them. They were not deployed efficiently, didn't know their way around, etc. I think many hours and manpower were lost on that aspect alone. A better liaison between locals and non-locals would have helped.
Corthree January 05, 2013 at 05:04 PM
JCP&L is the worst!! all they had to do, was have a couple of crews going around and see what blade switches they could pull closer to damaged lines... They would have had thousands of consumers back on-line within a few days. The only crew I saw for 10 days just drove right by and thats all was wrong with our entire street. A simple blade switch was down. Just plain unacceptable.
David Steketee January 06, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Just curious, who did you notify when you realized the only issue was the switch?
Corthree January 07, 2013 at 04:44 AM
I called everyday and the few times I actually got a live person on the phone they told me they had no idea what a blade switch was!!!! Only when I said I would reset it myself and pull one closer to the lines down did they send somebody out!!! I live in green township and my street is always forgotten by JCP&L Irean was 7 days, October snow storm 2011 was 9 days and SAndy was 10 days! Only 1 of these involved a line down on our phase!!!
Corthree January 07, 2013 at 04:51 AM
I challenge JCP&L to leave me a comment on here! Please explain the reasoning behind not sending a few crews around to reset blade switches of the main phase lines and pulling switches closer to damaged lines!! PLEASE JCP&L LEAVE A COMMENT! Or heck send me a PM and I'll respond.
AndyD January 07, 2013 at 01:10 PM
1) "two powerful near hurricanes" - what was "near" about them - both Irene and Sandy were hurricanes. 2) I see no mention of a time-table for the app and the other efforts - are they going to happen next week or month or after the next storm when we notice they're no where to be found. 3) what does " training county and municipal first responders on electrical safety" mean - will it enable them to remove downed trees after confirming wires are dead?
BillBalls January 07, 2013 at 01:44 PM
This is flat out deception. There is so much wrong with JCP&L’s infrastructure it will take 10 years to rectify, and now they want us to think a stupid mobile phone app will fix it. Come-on, where is the State BPU on this? JCP&L needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into hundreds of court case across its area by thousands of rate payers who were harmed by JCP&L’s negligent lack of maintenance and lack of ability to repair their systems in a reasonable timeframe! Nothing else will get their attention!
Maryann Edwards January 07, 2013 at 03:11 PM
I agree, they are useless and the information that will be put on this app will probably not be accurate. They should be held responsible for all of our losses due to their lack of ability to respond in a reasonable timeframe. Their lack of service has cost many of us a lot of money!
D Ambriano January 07, 2013 at 07:39 PM
An app??! How about upgrading your outdated, un-maintenanced equipment instead of just sucking us dry on fees and rates? An app won't fix a blown transformer, nor will it efficiently deploy human crews where needed in a timely manner. This is merely a PR stunt, and a pretty transparent one at that.
TCG January 07, 2013 at 07:52 PM
If I didn't know better, I'd think this story was a spoof written by The Onion. Are they kidding? Hey folks, don't believe a word of it. First, JCP&L did nothing between the last two Halloween storms, and they won't do anything of importance now. Secondly, most of what they are proposing requires consumer to HAVE POWER! Third, the power company answers only to the Board of Public Utilities which is an appointed body that answers to absolutely no one. Please recall Governor Christie as well as other local officials screaming about how JCP&L would be "held accountable." How? When? By whom? The power company has no incentive whatsoever to improve service because they know their contracts will never be taken away. Ever. So instead they give us fluff like APPS and "training first responders." It's the first responders who never fail to do their jobs. Maybe the first responders should be training the power company. What a joke.
TCG January 07, 2013 at 08:01 PM
And one more thing...did anyone get a credit on their bill for the 7,8,9,10 days or more without power? Any kind of a rebate? Just curious.
D Ambriano January 07, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Hah! My bill (which was estimated) went UP from the prior month. And when I called with my "real meter reading", it only went down by $40. Which was still higher than the month before, even with a full 13 days in darkness.
Liberty January 07, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Well, I obviously did not get billed for the multiple days my power was out. Why would you expect a credit or rebate? Up to the moment the power went out, you were using electricity--which you would be billed for. My bill that included the Sandy outage was "actual" and equal to the amount of power I did use, and was less than the previous month. I do agree with a previous commenter that we have to take some responsibility in preparing for a storm. ie: trim trees near power lines, remove old and/or diseased trees that have the potential to cause damage, etc., common sense prevention. I had an old, weak tree that had been damaged in an Oct. snowstorm a few years ago, it should have been removed. Well, Sandy uprooted it and dumped it on my roof, causing several thousand dollars in damage. My fault...
Robert Pignatello January 08, 2013 at 02:13 AM
The bpu did nothing to compel the utility companies to do better this time around post Irene. Nor did the legislature. The bpu chair now is rewarded with a seat in the state Supreme Court.i don't think he is focused on holding utilities more accountable ar the moment. Time passes. Nothing happens. Memories fade. And this is the best that Jcpl can come up with? Great. We will have an app so I can conviently report from my smartphone that my power and the rest if the town has no power next time. This is the kind if blatant insensitivity you get with a weakly regulated monopoly. In the mean time while it may be a long shot to change who delivers your power you can change where the power comes from. I for one will be looking to do that. It will make me feel better that Jcpl is getting less in their accounts as I exercise my write to get my supply somewhere else.

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