PSE&G Restores Power to All Customers Affected by July 22 Storm
(NEWARK, N.J. – July 26, 2019) Public Service Electric & Gas, New Jersey’s largest utility, restored power to all of the 250,000 customers affected by Monday’s storm as of 3:45 p.m. Thursday, July 25. The majority of the physical damage caused by the storm occurred in Burlington, Camden, Mercer and Gloucester counties.
"Our customers count on us to get the lights back on as quickly as possible,” said Jack Bridges, PSE&G vice president-electric operations. “Restoration work of this size is challenging. It takes an incredible amount of strategic collaboration and hard work to ensure the jobs get done safely and the customers stay informed. Our employees take great pride in knowing our company is among the best utilities at restoring power to customers after major storms. It’s an around-the-clock effort. Everyone comes together as team with the attitude of ‘what can I do help?"
All available PSE&G resources were deployed to quickly and safely repair the storm damage. In addition to PSE&G’s 1,900 service personnel (includes line workers, tree services, engineers, customer service representatives, etc.), more than 1,000 workers from out-of-state utilities and 100 contractors assisted in the restoration. Partnering with the owners and property managers of Burlington Center Mall, a staging area was established to receive and strategically deploy crews and equipment.
The restoration process gives priority to returning electric service to the greatest number of customers as quickly as possible; repairs are made based on the number of customers affected.
“Customers sometimes ask us, ‘Why are the crews just sitting in their trucks?’” Bridges said. “Our crews in the field work closely with our operational team to ensure power lines are de-energized before restoration work can begin, and sometimes they have to wait to ensure its safe.”
As part of storm management, PSE&G remained in regular communication with state, county and municipal officials, emergency management offices and critical customers, which include police/fire departments, health care facilities, schools, sewage pumping stations, other utilities and customers who require life-saving medical equipment.
“Communication with our customers during outages is just as important as repairing the system during restoration,” said Fred Daum, PSE&G executive director-customer operations. “We understand our customers want information about when power will be restored. Customers have multiple ways to stay connected with us – phone, our website, social media and even via text. Customers who are signed up for MyAlerts and provide a cell phone number can easily report an outage via text and get immediate updates.”
For the most recent storm, PSE&G established mobile customer service centers in the hardest-hit areas, offering a place to cool off and free water and ice to anyone without power. Customer service liaisons also made deliveries directly to some of the customers who experienced the longest power outages.
While storms that create massive damage can challenge utilities, Bridges thanked everyone who contributed to the safe and quick restoration.
“PSE&G employees are dedicated, responsive and focused on customer needs, so we thank them and all of our partners for a job well done,” Bridges said. “We’re proud of the restoration and the reliability of our system, which helped mitigate the storm impact. PSE&G keeps the power on more than 99 percent of the time and it’s important that we perform well when faced with such challenges.”
# # #
Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability as well as the 2018 Outstanding Customer Reliability Experience Award. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 11 consecutive years.