BPU: Crews’ response times need improvement

TRENTON – Trees need to be pruned better to prevent power outages, and the utility crews must restore power more

TRENTON – Trees need to be pruned better to prevent power outages, and the utility crews must restore power more quickly.  

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a rel="noreferrer" href="http://observermedia.com/terms">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters

Those were just some of the thoughts expressed by Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Robert Hanna as the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ 20th Annual Mayors’ Legislative Day got under way today at the Statehouse.

Hanna said the vegetation management regulations, or better known as the tree-trimming policies, need more clarity.

“Trees and branches fall on wires,” he said. “We have to do better on pruning.”

In addition to having more clarity on those policies, utility crew members have to do a better job in restoring power. He described the response of the utilities as “woeful” in the wake of last summer’s storms. He said there were several complaints about the response time.

“They saw crews sitting around for hours” he said. “That’s just unacceptable… they have to keep moving.”

He attributed the problem more to a lack of direction from dispatchers than laziness, adding they must make sure to “have the next job lined up.”

He described the penalty power of BPU as “anemic,” furthering the need for more clarity.

But several mayors, including Morris Plains Mayor Frank Druetzler, who described himself as a frequent critic of the utilities, said the BPU needs to do a better job of upgrading the infrastructure, more than anything else.

Hanna agreed, adding that the BPU is addressing such problems. He described the problem of exploding manhole covers in Morristown in Morris County.

“Those kinds of things can’t happen,” he said.

 

BPU: Crews’ response times need improvement