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November 9, 2012

PSE&G Service Restoration Update – Friday, November 9, 2012 at 11:45 a.m.

-- 33,600 remain from Hurricane Sandy. Power has been restored to 98 percent of 1.7 million customers impacted.
-- 21,700 remain from the Nor’easter Wednesday night.

  • PSE&G expects to have power restored to 99.5 percent of remaining customers by midnight tonight. There may be some customers whose restoration will extend into the weekend, depending on the amount of repairs that need to be done. The utility and out-of-state crews will continue to work around the clock until the last customer is back in service.
  • Most of the remaining outages result from localized issues that could not be corrected after a system or circuit outage was restored. 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.
  • Gas inspections: to safeguard public’s safety, PSE&G is inspecting customer gas piping, metering equipment and appliances in towns flooded by Sandy. Inspections are complete in 20 towns, with no additional gas shut-offs expected. Door-to-door inspections will continue over the next few days in Harrison, Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, Moonachie and Little Ferry. If someone is not home, we will leave a card with a phone number to call. A gas inspector will be available in the evenings. Inspections will take priority over other gas-related calls, except emergencies.
  • Customers may see a variety of vehicles at various damage locations. These trucks are staffed with standby personnel, gas workers, meter readers, and support people who are assisting the restoration effort by keeping the public away from downed wires and other electrical equipment while line crews are making repairs at other locations.
  • Crews are working 16-hour days, with mandated rest periods and meal breaks.
  • Since the start of the storm, PSE&G call centers have handled more than 2.1 million calls. We have suspended non-emergency work so that more workers are available to respond to customer calls.

We are reading media reports about people who have become ill or died from carbon monoxide poisoning or fires resulting from the use of generators in their homes. Anyone using portable electric generators must be sure to carefully read and follow the manual that came with the generator. Be sure your generator is UL-approved, installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by your local electrical inspector. There must be a way to physically disconnect your generator from utility lines. Generators should not be operated inside a dwelling or building. Customers who improperly install, operate or maintain a generator are risking their lives and the lives of their neighbors and utility workers.

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?
  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 (  

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Media Contact: Karen Johnson

Phone: 973-430-7734

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Phone: 1-800-436-7734

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