News Department

Pre-winter inspections and maintenance support safe, reliable power for JCP&L customers

Company offers tips for customers to manage seasonal heating bills

NEW JERSEY – Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), a FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary, has completed proactive work to prepare the electric grid in its 3,200-square-mile service area to keep customers’ power flowing through the cold winter months.

The work, which includes preventive maintenance and inspections of key equipment, vehicles and the environment surrounding the lines, ensures that the system is ready for the increased demand brought on by colder temperatures and heavy snow, ice and winds that can damage poles, wires and substation equipment during winter storms.

“Our goal is keeping our customers safe, warm and comfortable this winter by providing the reliable electric service they need to meet this season’s demands. We don’t know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve in the coming months, but we’re preparing our system and employees for whatever may come our way,” JCP&L President Jim Fakult.

Seasonal preparations included:

  • Winterizing substation buildings that house remote-controlled equipment.
  • Tuning up heating equipment for substation components to ensure cold weather doesn’t lead to equipment malfunctions.
  • Inspecting batteries used to power electrical devices that can sense abnormal conditions in the system as well as the motors that operate switches to isolate those problems.
  • Conducting equipment inspections using high-tech thermal imaging cameras to look for hardware problems and potential “hotspots,” or weakened areas in the lines.
  • Inspecting transmission lines using a helicopter in areas not visible from the ground.
  • Servicing company bucket trucks and other vehicles to help ensure safe operations during the winter season, with special emphasis placed on the condition of tires and air braking systems, which can freeze up if moisture is present.
  • Inspecting snow chains and snow removal equipment to ensure safe access to work sites.

Tree trimming throughout the year also helps reinforce the power system ahead of the winter season by maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment and helping to protect against tree-related outages caused by ice and heavy, wet snow on branches. JCP&L’s tree contractors have completed trimming work along 2,792 miles of electric lines to date this year, and they are on track to complete an additional 629 miles of tree trimming by the end of December.

Beyond infrastructure maintenance, JCP&L employees also participated in readiness exercises and drills throughout the year to test the company’s restoration process used to address winter storm-related power outages. With a core focus on safety, company leadership also reviews cold-weather safety procedures with field employees, including tips to traverse slippery conditions and help ensure safe arrival at work sites. Crews are also reminded to hydrate and take frequent breaks in warm trucks to avoid frostbite and maintain sharp mental focus.

Cold Weather Tips for Customers 

Customers can review tips to prepare in advance for severe weather, and view restoration updates if storms do cause power outages, by visiting FirstEnergy’s 24/7 Power Center at

With the winter storm season also comes frigid temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to keep their homes comfortable while managing their electricity bill this cold season. The following tips can help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:

  • Seal any leaks around windows and door frames with caulk or weather stripping to prevent cold air from sneaking into your home.
  • Close the fireplace damper when it is not in use to keep cold air out.
  • Close the drapes at night. During the day, only open those that receive direct sunlight.
  • Check furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing a heating system to work harder than necessary.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. If you have less than six inches of insulation, you’ll benefit by adding more.
  • Payment arrangements and assistance programs are available for customers who need help with their electric bills. For more information, visit
  • More energy efficiency tips as well as no-fee energy efficiency kits, home energy analyzers and the details of JCP&L’s other regulated energy efficiency programs can be found at

JCP&L serves customers 1.1. million customers in New Jersey in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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