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November 5, 2012

PSE&G Service Restoration Update – Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.


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. Customers who improperly install, operate or maintain a generator are risking their lives and the lives of their neighbors and utility workers. 

Outage update: PSE&G continues to make progress restoring customers – about 78 percent of the 1.7 million customers affected by Hurricane Sandy have been restored.  The number of outages is now 375,000.

We have now restored 95 percent of our customers in our Southern region that includes portions of Burlington, Mercer, Camden and Gloucester counties.  As work is completed, crews in South Jersey will be reassigned to work in other parts of the state.

There are five substations that remain without power, all in Hudson County. We are working to have them energized sometime today. Restoring the substations is a critical step in allowing us to power the distribution systems that bring electricity to customers’ homes.

At the request of the Governor, we have provided details on our work plan that are available on our website ( Note that the plan is a snapshot in time showing the estimated number of customers expected to be restored based on work currently assigned and will change based on emerging conditions and the need to reprioritize work.

Some current restoration statistics:

  • We have restored power to all refineries, and 78 percent of the gas stations in our service territory have power.
  • 80 percent of schools in our service territory have power.
  • We are working with local officials to target restoration of power for polling stations where possible.

“We understand that this is hard on our customers — it is also hard on our employees, who live in almost every town we serve,” said Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G. “We appreciate the patience our customers are showing and the words of encouragement being offered to our employees and the thousands who have come from around the country to help us restore power. Please understand that this is dangerous work. We need to be focused on thoroughly, carefully and safely restoring power. Please do not distract our employees from the task at hand.”   

Mobile Customer Service Centers: To provide relief to communities hit particularly hard by this storm, PSE&G has established Mobile Customer Service Centers (CSCs).  These locations are providing ice, drinking water and power strips for recharging devices free of charge to our customers.  Food is being given out at our centers in Hoboken, Plainfield and Jersey City.  PSE&G representatives are staffing these centers to provide customers information about our efforts to restore power.

Note that tomorrow we will be opening a new Mobile CSC in Plainfield, which can serve customers in that city as well as neighboring towns such as Fanwood and Scotch Plains.  The current list of Mobile CSCs is as follows:



Hours of Ops


CVS Parking Lot
59 Washington Ave.



Red Neck Grove
(John Stevens Baseball Field)

8 a.m.-4p.m.


Paramus Park Mall

8a.m. - 4p.m.

Jersey City

Westside and Claremont Ave

8 a.m.-noon


518 Watchung Ave       


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

Contact for customers & others:

Phone: 1-800-436-7734

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