For JCP&L residents who experienced a power surge into their homes on Monday January 30th at 3:00am, please click here to tell us what damage your incurred.
We have two main purposes for collecting your information:
1. Understand total damage. We want to give the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Governor Christie’s office a better estimate of the total damage, number of homes affected, and scope of the incident.
2. Create a unified front for financial recovery and corrective measures. We want to collect names of everyone impacted so we can potentially invite you to be part of class action against JCP&L which could potentially get your financial loss back; even if that means just recovery of your home owner’s deductible. However, some households may not have claimed for damage or may have claims below their deductible. A class action reward would make sure homeowner’s are made whole for what was done to their homes. Our insurance companies as well should not have to incur this cost, which ultimately may get reflected back to us in the form of higher insurance premiums. (Note: you are not being added to the class at time time, just signing up for more information about it if and when a class gets established.)
We would like your support, and to know what you experienced. When you sign up, you can specify exactly how you want your information used. At this stage, this is completely informative to collect the names of all impacted households. We hope to use a community show of support to help get action from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and make a better case for potentially recovery.
For anyone who already files a damage claim with First Energy\JCP&L, the company sent out a letter on Feb 28th denying responsbility and financial accountability. They also provided no information or transparency about the cause of the back surge into HUNDREDS of homes in East Hanover and Livingston, or what they plan to do to prevent it in the future.
Customers have a right to know what happened and more importantly, ensure whatever corrective actions are available to prevent this from happening in the future are being put in place. We do not have a choice nor can switch our energy delivery company, so it is up to our regulatory boards to ensure our power providers are acting responsibly; to understand exactly what happened and put preventive measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Please sign up so we know who has been impacted. This will help us to get First Energy\JCP&L to explain what happened, put in place a plan to implement corrective measures, and take financial responsibility for the damage they caused. Let’s not wait for another house explosion like in Havestraw for this to get some attention and resolution. The electricity delivered to our homes should be safe and reliable and not put us in harms way. The way it is delivered to our homes should be done in a way where all possible measures are in place to ensure what is delivered to our homes from the outside is safe; this means surge capacity built into the system between power substations and our homes, and fail safes to ensure that power is not EVER restored when neutral line connectivity is not working properly. This is what happened in this case.
We all expect the power ‘Service’ we get delivered to our homes to be safe and reliable. What was delivered on January 30th to hundreds of homes was not. The intent of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Tariff clause is to protected power companies from conditions inside the home when damage might be the homeowner’s fault. The intent of the clause is not (or should not) be to allow the power company to delivery anything to the outside of our homes, and not be accoutable for it. We all expect what is delivered to the outside of our homes to be safe and reliable, to be calibrated electricity (via an active neutral line) and to adhere to some standard definition of quality. If something other is harmful to our homes is delivered, the companies in the business of delivering that power should be held accountable. Even if there is no malicious intent or negligence, they do have a responsbility to only deliver safe and reliable power. We all want to go to sleep at night, leave home for work or go on vacation without having to worry about our appliances and outlets catching on fire.
First Enegy\JCP&L has a history of using the Tariff clause from the NJ Board Board of Public Utilities to shield themselves from any accountability. Continuing to let JCP&L hide behind this clause (as they have done in other similar incidents in 2009 and 2010), gives them absolutely no incentive to act more responsibly or make improvements to their procedures and equipment to make us safer. This clause and how JCP&L has uses it needs to be challenged through both the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Governor Christie’s office. What power companies deliver to the outside of our homes has to be safe and reliable, a calibrated amount of electricity and at some level, adhere to a certain standard of quality. JCP&L indicates it was a powerline voltage differential, but regardless of how it failed or how it was restored, the power coming to our homes should always be a calibrated amount of voltage and systemic protections should be in place to prevent unregulated amounts of voltage from being delivered. Let’s join together to get some answers, and help recover your damage.
Thank you so much for your support. If you would like to contact us directly with any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This blog site has a number of other resources for you as well.
1. See the official claim letter response from JCP&L (and explanation for why it is both an inappropriate and inadequate response): http://jcplpowersurge.wordpress.com/jcpl_claim_denial/
2. If you want to send a letter yourself directly to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, find a template leter here you can print and send: http://jcplpowersurge.wordpress.com/njbpu
3. If you filled a damage claim to your homeowner’s insurance company, click here to learn about how subrogation can potentially get your deductible back: http://jcplpowersurge.wordpress.com/subrogating/