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The Tale of Two JCP&L

March 5, 2021 – Some of you may have read that JCP&L’s President Jim Fakult was recently recognized by ROI-NJ and NJ Biz for “leadership of 1,500 dedicated industry professionals who keep the power on for more than one million New Jersey customers” and is in line to be the next chair of the state Chamber of Commerce.

It is very interesting to contrast this with a news article published by the Patch just a week ago that showed JCP&L's performance or reliability in a very different light.

The Patch article, using the latest national data (2019) gathered annually from utility companies, indicates that JCP&L ranks as the worst in New Jersey based on reliability metrics used in the utility sector. Not well-known to the public is the fact that utility companies must keep and submit data for the number of power outages to their system and the duration of those outages. The four utilities that are granted monopolistic franchises to operate in New Jersey are PSE&G, JCP&L, Atlantic City Electric, and Rockland Electric. The latest 2019 data is summarized in the table below (see picture).

As you can see, JCP&L is, by far, the worst performing utility in New Jersey by a huge margin. The average JCP&L customer is without power (duration) for more than 500% times of non-JCP&L customers. The likelihood of going without power for JCP&L customers is more than two times the likelihood for non-JCP&L customers.

These “reliability” metrics are filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on an annual basis, so this story and the long history of poor performance is or should be known to the BPU. Despite this, there have been no significant improvements to our local distribution reliability despite the “hype” by JCP&L. Even when given additional money to address the reliability issues, a rate filing case in 2015 has shown that JCP&L kept most of the money as profits to the company

There is currently a bill in the New Jersey Assembly that allows a town to revoke a utility’s franchise and to increase the penalty for violations. At the moment, there is no comparative bill in the New Jersey Senate. It’s important that our state legislative representatives get behind this bill.

We started a petition asking lawmakers and regulators to consider revoking JCP&L’s franchise to operate as a monopoly with virtual impunity.

Click on the link below, sign the petition and then share with your friends and families.


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