Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried Testified About Utility Company Restoration Of Services After Major Storm Events

“JCP&L was so poor during Irene that we actually filed suit against them. They promised they would improve communication, and frankly I have not seen any improvement whatsoever. I will be signing a complaint today and filing a lawsuit against them (through the NJ Board of Public Utility) for a second time.–Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried

August 19, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried testified via Zoom before the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee today. The Committees met jointly to take testimony from invited guests – including management of JCP&L, Atlantic City Electric and PSE&G – on public utility emergency response and restoration of services after major storm events, including Tropical Storm Isaias.

Below is the crux of Mayor Fried’s testimony, which began around 1:10 p.m.

“JCP&L was so poor during Irene that we actually filed suit against them. They promised they would improve communication, and frankly I have not seen any improvement whatsoever. I will be signing a complaint today and filing a lawsuit against them (through the NJ Board of Public Utility) for a second time. One of the Assemblymen talked about how JCP&L always comes in fourth (place) among the four power companies (testifying Wednesday before the Assembly). If there were 20 (companies), I have every confidence (JCP&L) would come in 20th. We do meet with them after every storm and nothing ever improves and the communications never gets any better.
“My ask to the Assembly would be for the towns being served by two utility companies to allow us to have a choice to switch to the one that is performing and remove those who are not performing. I want the ability to have that conversation. There’s no real reason for one to have such a large footprint if they cannot perform with the footprint they have. Perhaps if we can take away (some of that footprint) we can make it a little better for them and for some of the other communities they represent. Give us the ability to have some choices and to be able to work with the ones that are working. It is wholly unfair for the residents of a town with two utilities where half the town has power, things are going well and there is good communication (with PSE&G), and the other half that is so poor. It’s frustrating as an elected official to have to tell people we have one relationship here, and an entirely different relationship over there. PSE&G did an exceptional job with this last storm. Those here from JCP&L, you clearly know how I feel. I just really think it’s time for us to have a change.”