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Montville Considers Dropping JCP&L

Township administrator 'befuddled' by suggestions from state BPU last year not being implemented by JCP&L.

Montville is awaiting an answer from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities regarding whether the township can be removed from its contract with Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) following Superstorm Sandy.

Township Administrator Victor Canning said during Tuesday’s township committee meeting that he submitted the question to the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) via its official online complaint form and had yet to receive an answer.

Many Montville residents have called for the township to drop ties with JCP&L following what Mayor Tim Braden had previously deemed the “failure of JCP&L to effectively communicate with our residents” during and after Sandy.

Canning said he was also able to get his hands on two reports the BPU had issued last year regarding utility responses to both Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm. He said there was a “litany of suggestions” made specifically toward JCP&L that were not followed this time around.

“I was befuddled in reading that most of the things we dealt with last year continued,” Canning said.

The administrator said he has asked the BPU what they plan to do to remedy the situation and whether they know why the suggestions were not implemented.

The administrator said township officials continue to meet to figure out how they can better respond to similar storm and natural disaster situations.

Canning met with Montville Township Police Chief Richard Cook, Montville’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Lt. Rudy Appleman, Assistant Township Administrator Adam Brewer and all department heads Nov. 19 to begin putting together paperwork to submit to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) for possible reimbursement.

“I have asked them their input on what we can do to address future storms and our energy response techniques and procedures,” Canning said.

art daughtry December 01, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Interesting title - Sure we would go from JCP&L to what, "Butler Electric" - from the frying pan into the fire. Let's see over 200 municipalities are going after their respective power companies and will spend thousands of hours posturing in front of the public and the entire time the real issue is with the BPU and Christie. By the way take a look at what the North Carolina reg com did to the CEO of Duke Energy after a shady merger. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324020804578151640456482484.html
Jim Muhaw December 01, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Here is a timely report. It was aired last evening on WNYC/NPR....http://www.wnyc.org/npr_articles/2012/nov/30/after-sandy-outages-a-tale-of-two-utilities/
Mom Tlm December 01, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Art, I agree that I do not think switching utility companies is the answer. This was a humungous devestating 100 year storm that no one was prepared to manage. However, there are some lines around this town that have been more succestible to power outages (and long power outages) than should be considered acceptable. High Ridge is one of them since thedevelopment was built. To have underground utilities and be wired into the weakest area on Foremost Mt. Rd and Pinebrook Rd with all the 100 year old trees, is ridiculous. Instead of this greedy utility board agreeing to install cancer causing power lines across our town which will hike everyone's bills and deliver nothing to us but illness and ugliness to look at, they should be updating some of the week line systems. ON ANOTHER NOTE, i read the Duke Energy link above, but my lack of knowledge of the situation makes me unsure what the relationship is between that even and what is happening here. Pls explain. Thanks.
Dan Grant December 01, 2012 at 03:57 PM
The heart of the problem began when Ohio based First Energy took over control of JCP&L and almost from the beginning began laying off line people and maintenance workers in NJ. It is the result of the "Freemarket" takeover of essential services. First Energy's obligation is to their stock holders NOT THEIR CUSTOMERS. They cut costs for the sake of profits and we suffered. We need a real BPU not some graveyard for political hacks seeking to enhance their pensions. How many times have people been appointed who were elected officials who went from $25,000 a year to $100,000 for the last three years of pension enhancement? Montville says they want to leave JCP&L. I am with Art. Who To.
Karl December 02, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Dan, Let's let the government and not the "freemarket" takeover every aspect of our lives. They have shown time and again that they can do it better and more efficiently, right? We have really become a pathetic people. Save me government. Please please. And tax "that guy" over there to pay for it.
art daughtry December 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Hi Mom Tim The Duke energy example was just to show that the NC regulatory agency took SOME action against a utility that mislead them. In this case it was when Duke energy bought up a smaller utility in North Carolina. In testimony to the regulatory commission they lied. So the reg com forced the retirement of the CEO. As far as the 500KV line being built with the monopoles that is PSE&G which has nothing to do with local distribution of power in Montville Township. By the way Verizon is a party to all of the issues with poles snapping in half and being rotted. As part of a 75 year old joint use agreement Verizon ownes and "maintains" roughly 50% of the poles with JCP&L maintaining the other 50%. The cable company pays either Verizon or JCP&L to attach to the pole. Both the power companies and Verizon have done away with the majority of crews that would replace and maintain the pole lines over the last 20-30 years starting in 1983 with the deregulation and break up of "ma bell" followed by the deregulation of the power companies. That left the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) that used to regulate the monopoly company (JCP&L and NJ Bell) with little or no power to insure safety and response times.
Tom Melahn December 03, 2012 at 07:33 PM
One way to show JCP&L your in happy is by switching to a third party supplier like Viridian Energy. They can reduce your electric/natural gas costs and they use renewable energy. Yes JCP&L still delivers the energy but they don't get to over charge you for supply portion. Go to www.viridian.com/greenalways.

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