As part of its plan to modernize the electric distribution system, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., will begin installing smart meters on customers' homes and businesses throughout its service territory in 2023.
JCP&L's plan was approved this week by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and includes installation of more than 1.1 million smart meters over a 36-month period. Approximately one-third of the smart meters are expected to be installed each year, with the majority of JCP&L customers receiving a smart meter by 2026.
"Smart meters help ensure accurate readings and will provide customers with information they need to better manage their electricity use. In the future, it will also help us restore power more quickly, especially in storm situations," said Jim Fakult, president, JCP&L. "FirstEnergy has had tremendous success with this technology in Ohio and Pennsylvania and we are excited to bring it to our customers in New Jersey."
Smart meters differ from traditional electric meters in that they allow for two-way communication and automated meter reading. They also help ensure accurate billing each month by virtually eliminating estimated readings. Customers will be able track energy consumption to better manage their electricity costs and reduce energy usage. Future benefits include the ability to detect and locate outages more quickly and provide more accurate and timely storm restoration information.
About one month prior to smart meter installation, customers will receive information by mail addressing common questions and notifying them of their upcoming installation. On the day of installation, customers can expect the process to take minutes with minimal disruption to their electric service. Customers will have the ability to opt out of receiving a smart meter by paying a monthly fee.
Across its service territory, FirstEnergy has installed more than 2.7 million smart meters since 2014. Smart meter implementation efforts are nearly complete in Pennsylvania and currently underway in Ohio.