Jersey Central Power & Light announced March 3 that it will begin installing smart meters on customers’ homes and businesses in 2023, a move that’s part of its plan “to modernize the electric distribution system.”
JCP&L also announced March 4 it was one of 10 organizations honored for its work supporting construction of Atlantic Health System’s combined heat and power plant at Morristown Medical Center, which received the 2022 New Jersey Alliance for Action Leading Capital Construction Projects award.
The Atlantic Health System project, completed in 2021, included the installation of a natural gas power-generating turbine at Morristown Medical Center. As part of the project, JCP&L removed all company-owned equipment, which had sent electricity into the building. Following installation of the turbine, new customer-owned transformers and cables were installed.
“The teamwork on this project proves that when great organizations work closely together, there is nothing we can’t do to improve our towns, counties and state,” Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L, said in a statement.
In addition to JCP&L and Atlantic Health System, the other Garden State honorees were Allan Briteway Electrical Contractors Inc. of Whippany; The Barham Group LLC and Bette & Cring, both of Tinton Falls; Morris County Building & Construction Trades Council of Parsippany; PWI of Cherry Hill; and Holt Construction, which has a Newark location. The New York-based honorees were Cogen Power Technologies and Francis Cauffman Architects.
JCP&L’s plan, which was recently approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, includes the installation of more than 1.1 million smart meters over 36 months. The majority of JCP&L customers will receive a smart meter by 2026, the Holmdel-headquartered company announced.
“Smart meters help ensure accurate readings and will provide customers with information they need to better manage their electricity use. In the future, it will also help us restore power more quickly, especially in storm situations,” JCP&L President Jim Fakult said in a statement. “FirstEnergy has had tremendous success with this technology in Ohio and Pennsylvania and we are excited to bring it to our customers in New Jersey.”
Unlike traditional electric meters, smart meters allow for two-way communication and automated meter reading and also eliminate estimated reading, resulting in more accurate billing, according to JCP&L, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp.
Customers will be able track energy consumption to better manage their electricity costs and reduce energy usage. The company added the smart meters will, in the future, be able to locate outages more quickly.
What should customers expect? About a month before installation, they will receive a notification by mail of their upcoming installation. The installation itself will take only a few minutes with “minimal disruption to their electric service.” Additionally, for customers who do not want the smart meter, they will have the ability to opt out, but will need to pay a monthly fee.
JCP&L serves 1.1 million Garden State customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.