JCP&L Completes Electric Grid Prep for Summer Heat, Storms & Hurricanes

JCP&L has completed equipment inspections and maintenance throughout its central and northern New Jersey service area to prepare the electric grid for the hot summer months and potential severe weather and hurricanes that come with the season.

In addition to regular ground-based visual inspections, helicopter patrols surveyed more than 700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines this spring. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken crossarms and other equipment problems not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspections are addressed as quickly as possible.

JCP&L also captured infrared images of electrical equipment using thermovision cameras. These high-tech inspections allow the company to detect potential problems within substations and on power lines that cannot be observed during regular visual inspections. The infrared technology shows heat on a color scale, with brighter colors or “hot spots” indicating potential equipment issues. Utility workers complete more detailed inspections and make repairs in these areas to prevent potential power outages in the future.

JCP&L crews are also prepared to respond in the event severe weather or hurricanes impact the area this summer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an 85% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, with 17 to 25 named storms and eight to 13 hurricanes, including four to seven major hurricanes (category 3 or higher with winds above 111 mph).

Critical equipment, such as mobile substations, has been strategically staged closer to Jersey Shore and barrier island communities. This important step allows crews to respond to the higher demand for electricity due to tourism and helps restore power faster should outages occur following a major weather event. These areas typically absorb much of a hurricane or tropical storm’s force as it makes landfall.

With the summer storm season also comes higher-than-usual temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to manage their electric bill while beating the heat by using electricity wisely following these tips:

  • Use fans, as moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days. However, remember to turn fans off when you leave the area – fans cool people, not rooms.
  • During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on windows facing the sun to prevent direct radiant heating from impacting interior temperatures.
  • Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home and to reduce the temperature before arrival back home.
  • Seal any leaks with caulk or weather stripping to prevent hot air from sneaking into your home.
  • Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced at home, the less work the air conditioner must do.
  • Payment arrangements and assistance programs are available for customers who need help with their electric bills. For more information, visit firstenergycorp.com/billassist.
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