EnergizeNJ Proposal Makes for a Brighter Future Faster in New Jersey

JCP&L updates its infrastructure investment proposal, accelerates investments in reliability
Lineworker in bucket truck

Fewer power outages – and shorter outages when the lights do go out – is Jersey Central Power & Light’s goal.

In late February, the company filed an update to its EnergizeNJ initiative, which includes $930.5 million in infrastructure upgrades and enhancements designed to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages for JCP&L customers. 

“EnergizeNJ is one of the most significant initiatives JCP&L has ever put together to enhance service reliability for customers. It’s important to us that these upgrades not only enhance service by reducing how often you lose power or how long your lights are out, but also do it in a cost-conscious manner,” said Jim Fakult, President of JCP&L.

The program includes enhancements such as: 

  • Limiting the number of power outages that take place by upgrading overhead power lines with stronger wire and poles that better hold up against stronger storms and making significant substation improvements.

  • Reducing some outages to mere power blips by installing advanced technology and smart grid devices, such as automated reclosing devices that can detect when temporary faults on a line (such as a tree branch bouncing off wires) are clear and automatically re-energize the line as well as adding more remotely-controlled devices. 

  • Restoring customers faster when outages do occur by standardizing system voltage, building new circuits and installing circuit ties, all of which allow power to be rerouted around damage.

  • Creating smaller, more reliable customer “pods” by building new circuits and tying together existing circuits to provide backup connection options in case of damage. 

A common question asked by customers is, “Why not just bury all the lines?” 

At a cost of nearly $1 million per mile, undergrounding large portions of JCP&L’s 40,000-plus miles of distribution and sub-transmission lines would significantly raise electric bills for families and businesses.  

EnergizeNJ, however, looks to make data-driven, cost-effective upgrades by selectively undergrounding approximately seven miles of lines in some of the most vulnerable areas, such as immediately outside of substations, providing benefits of enhanced service reliability with lower impacts on customer bills.

JCP&L’s plan spreads out the costs of projects over five years, paying for work only as it’s completed and not up front. The result is a series of seven smaller impacts on customer bills, ranging from $0.17 to $0.89 per month increases for the average residential customer, who pays about $121 per month today. The total increase, five years from now, adds up to approximately $4.07 per month.  

Learn more about JCP&L’s EnergizeNJ initiative at jcp-l.com/energizenj

Last Modified: April 23, 2024