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JCP&L Feedback Wanted at Public Meeting Tuesday

BPU holds hearing from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hopatcong Middle School.

Nearly two months after Superstorm Sandy, residents will have the chance to tell state officials first-hand their concerns and suggestions for the storm response and what it was like to survive without power for days.

The Board of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing on Tuesday at Hopatcong Middle School from 4 to 7 p.m. to hear input from residents all over the region about what the experience in the aftermath of Sandy was like.

"We hope that residents are able to give us as much information as they have," said Greg Reinert, a spokesman for BPU. "What their experiences were, what did they experience as far as the outage, whether it was a line down or what information did they get regarding the outage, what information they weren't able to get about the outage."

Reinert said all comments will be taken into consideration in trying to make the companies peform better.

JCP&L will also be at the meeting, where preisdent Don Lynch will give a presentation. BPU Robert Hanna is also expected to speak at the beginning before the public comment.

Reinert said everyone who signed up to make a comment will get the chance to speak.

"We're really looking to take testimony on everything that the public experienced, saw, was told, so we have a complete picture," he said.

Hopatcong Mayor Sylvia Petillo said the meeting is important for residents because it is the first time since the storm they can tell state officials about what it was like to be in one of the storm's hardest hit areas.

"This gives residents the opportunity to vent, and to let them know how difficult it was," she said. "I think the BPU needs to hear the complaints about JCP&L, they need to hear it from the people."

This is the third meeting BPU has set up in the state. The where the main discussion from the public consisted of poor communication, infrastructure and equipment problems after the storm.

Those who cannot make it to the meeting can submit written comments via email to: board.secretary@bpu.state.nj.us  or by mail to: Kristi Izzo, Secretary of the Board, Board of Public Utilities, 44 South Clinton Ave., 9th Floor, P.O. Box 350, Trenton, NJ 08625-0350.

The written comments should reference Docket Number EO12111050 in the “subject” area of emails, or in  the heading of a letter.

These comments will be accepted until Jan. 31.

TCG December 18, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Don't waste your time. What changed in the year between last Halloween and Sandy? Nothing. JCP&L is protected by an appointed board accountable to absolutely no one. The town has zero power over the board, so what consequence might the power companies possibly suffer? What incentive do they have to perform better? The meeting is a charade set up to make it appear as though they year your concerns. When the meeting is over, JCP&L just howls in laughter and head to the bank.
Josh Dubnick December 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Unfortunately, I was unable to go to the hearing. Does anyone know what the steps are to revoke a franchise? What would it actually cost us either per resident or per KWH to dump JCP&L and either start our own municipal utility or join Sussex Rural? If you calculate the cost of running a generator for a week a year, a couple of cents per KWH seem trivial. In addition, after the upfront costs are paid, we'd probably pay less. Sussex Rural had an ad in Sunday's Herald where they said they were tied for the lowest rates in NJ -- tied with a municipal owned utility. We don't need JCP&L and their focus on profits for stockholders. We need a customer owned utility that invests in maintaining the grid and not in the highest returns for stock holders.
Parsippany Taxpayer December 19, 2012 at 07:37 PM
If you don't have a generator by next Halloween well don't consider yourself not warned. Sure last year was a freak snowstorm with ice, this year was Sandy. The reality is there is zero tree maintenance to prevent branches and trees from taking down trees and limbs onto the lines and poles. Back 30 years ago you saw the transmission company regularly doing maintenance now they are only concerned with maximizing shareholder wealth. Also like the banks the electric company is too big to fail and cannot deal with a large scale issue as was apparent when many folks were without power for 7+ days (11 in our case). So basically if you don't have a well equipped backup system be warned as this is only going to get worst as we go from here. Global warming is going to make abnormal weather more regular and the customers are going to be left holding the bag.
Parsippany Taxpayer December 19, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Anyone ever wonder why Europe puts the lines underground. Spend a dollar today save $10 for the next decade. Everything in the US is about today -- no long term vision. Not to mention the eye sores of tons of lines above ground or the concern of electrocution from downed lines. Europe has a lot less fatalities from accidental electrocution because they do it right the first time (underground). Don't tell the union workers that are linemen that you want your lines underground as that will impact their job security and also JCP&Ls short term profit outlook which won't make investors happy.
Reality Chuck December 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Europe had the benefit of carpet bombing during WWII to rebuild in a more thoughtful way.

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