PARSIPPANY — In a letter dated August 11, 2020, to Charles E. Jones, Chief Executive Officer, First Energy Corp. demanding that they make
- Food reimbursements
- Medicine reimbursements
- Infrastructure upgrades
- Actionable state legislation
“About 70% of Parsippany residents lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias. Over half of our township was out of power for at least two days, and thousands of residences and businesses did not see their power restored for four, five, or even six days,” Soriano said.
“This occurred during the course of a global pandemic that has left many residents dependent on household power to work, conduct business, educate their children, and care for their loved ones. Our society has never been more dependent on stable, reliable electricity than in the year 2020. This outage, more than any other in recent memory, has brought into focus the need to change the way we think about utility operations and infrastructure moving forward.”
“Earlier this week, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco called on PSE&G, which serves his region, to reimburse customers for the cost of food, medication, and other perishables for both residences and businesses which lost power for 48 hours or more during last week’s storm. He further called on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to make this a requirement in the case of future outages,” he continued.
As one of the few electricians serving as a Mayor in New Jersey, I would also like to offer my constructive thoughts on improvements to our power grid. This is not a comprehensive plan, but a few key suggestions to start mitigating the number of outages we experience and the length of time before restoration.
• Accelerate the installation of “TripSaver” smart reset devices. TripSavers can save time, equipment costs, and labor costs. After the initial investment, labor and repair costs will decrease substantially, as will the time it takes for customers to be restored to power.
• Make our substations more resilient to extreme weather conditions. My understanding for the first few days of the outage was that extensive damage to substations delayed the response to neighborhood outages. As hubs of power generation, a more resistant class of substations will leave more customers with power following major storms, and accelerate restoration times for those who do lose power.
• Installation of smart utility poles: Samuel Morse installed the first utility poles in the 1840s. Other than weather treatment, this system has seen little change since that time. Smart utility poles will both accelerate the trouble-shooting process and vastly improve monitoring capabilities over the grid.
Click here to download the complete letter.