PSE&G Service Restoration Update
-- All but 24 customers affected by Hurricane Sandy have now been restored. The storm affected service to 1.7 million of the utility’s 2.2 million electric customers.
-- 336 customers remain without power from the Nor’easter Wednesday night. .
• PSE&G is working to complete restoration to these remaining customers in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties, which experienced high winds along the Watchung Mountains during the hurricane and the largest snowfall during the Nor’easter. Most of these outages result from localized issues that were not corrected when a system or circuit outage was restored. These include damaged electrical service lines that lead from the pole to a customer’s home or business.
• Advice for customers: If your neighbors have had their power restored and you are still out, please call customer service at 1 800-436-7734. If our automated system indicates that power has been restored to your area and you have no power, please follow the prompts to place a new “no power” order. If the system states that your order already is registered, there is no need to place a new one. Unless customers call to report an outage, PSE&G may not know that there is still an issue at a particular location.
• Since service restoration began, PSE&G has replaced at least 2,500 poles and 1,000 transformers, as well as cut down 41,000 trees, to repair widespread damage from the hurricane. Contrary to rumors, PSE&G has ample supplies of poles and other equipment on hand.
Some frequently ask Questions from our customers:
Q. Why are my neighbors back and I’m not?
A. Homes very near to each other can be fed from different circuits. One of them may be damaged and not the other. It’s also possible that one part of a circuit is damaged while other sections are not. Circuits from a station usually have two sections. If one section is damaged, we can open a breaker to stop the flow of electricity to that section while keeping the other section in service.
Q. I hardly ever lose power. Why am I out now?
A. These are conditions we haven’t experienced in decades. Damage to switching stations, the backbone of the system, was extensive, and there were unusual amounts of damage to the transmission lines that bring power to the distribution system. If there is no power to their feeder station then their particular circuit will have no power. This storm also took an unusually high number of trees down, greatly increasing the number of customers affected and the amount of time it takes to bring power back.
Q. Why don’t I see anyone working on this?
A. We have to fix the transmission and substation issues first, or no power will flow to the circuits that serve you. Much of the work that goes into getting your power back is done out of sight. We have unprecedented amounts of tree damage that caused many circuit faults. Once we have transmission and substations restored, we prioritize jobs that involve critical infrastructure (such as hospitals and police stations) and those that have the most number of customers affected. With damage this severe, it is taking time but we are working our way through that process.
Q. Why don’t you know when my power will be back?
A. Under normal circumstances we know how long it takes to respond to reports of problems and restore service. This is not your average storm. Hurricane Sandy has caused twice the damage as Hurricane Irene. This means that even assessing the damage is slow, with new information constantly filling in the picture of the conditions that need to be addressed. We’ve also continued to bring additional out-of-state crews to help, and move them around to the areas they are needed most.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the Reliability One Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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