NEW JERSEY – Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has resumed indoor electric meter reading, a practice suspended in March 2020 for the safety of employees and the general public during the coronavirus pandemic.
While most JCP&L meters are located outdoors, customers with indoor meters likely received bills that estimated their monthly electric use since actual readings couldn’t be obtained. As estimated bills are calculated, in part, from the prior year’s usage – and most Americans spent more time at home throughout the pandemic – many customers will receive a higher bill due to the increase in actual consumption. As JCP&L begins reading meters again, monthly bills will reflect the electricity usage they were not charged for during the months they received estimated readings – not a rate increase or overcharge.
“Safety is our number one priority, and the suspension of indoor meter reading was just one step we took to protect the public and our team members during the global pandemic,” said James V. Fakult, president of JCP&L. “Our customer service teams are ready to assist our customers who may receive higher than expected bills as we gradually return to normal operations.”
JCP&L customer service representatives can assist those who receive a higher bill due to the resumption of indoor meter reading and are having difficulty making ends meet. Representatives are available at 800-662-3115 to assist residential customers with manageable payment arrangements and information on needs-based assistance programs.
Though indoor meter reading is resuming, not all customers will receive actual meter reads in their June bills. The “Usage Information for Meter Number xxxxxxxx” section of the bill will indicate if the bill is based off an actual or estimated reading. A sample can be found here: Understanding Your Bill (Section F).
In the event customers have had successive estimated bills, they can submit a meter reading by logging into their online account at www.jcp-l.com. Additionally, they can contact a customer service representative at 800-662-3115 to provide a meter reading. Online instructions on how to obtain their meter reading can be found here: Reading Your Meter.
Customers who live in an apartment building and have received prolonged estimated readings can work with their property manager to locate their meter so that they can obtain an actual reading to submit to customer service.
JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.