July 17, 2020
We are writing on behalf of the Baltusrol Top neighborhood of almost 300 homes in Springfield Township, NJ (07081) that is located above The Baltusrol Golf Club, between Summit Road and Interstate 78. Since this neighborhood’s inception almost 60 years ago, it has suffered from frequent, recurring power outages. Historically, our power problem has been neglected by every utility service provider, including JCP&L, with respect to ensuring a stable and reliable power supply.
Just in the past two weeks, we lost power four times, with two of the outages lasting over four hours each. This has been a long-standing problem for the Baltusrol Top neighborhood that causes disruption of basic needs including refrigeration for food and medicines, air conditioning and heat, and access to news during storms.
While this has been a long-standing aggravation for everyone living in the community, it has now become unacceptable during this age of COVID-19. Many residents of this neighborhood are professionals working remotely for large companies – some of which are also customers of JCP&L – and require power for home Wi-Fi to work properly and enable remote working capabilities, including video conferencing. Losing power in the middle of a meeting is disruptive, professionally embarrassing, and causes lost productivity. We cannot safely go to a neighbor with a generator or to a Starbuck’s with Wi-Fi, nor should we have to do so.
Many residents of the neighborhood have been forced to spend thousands of dollars to install whole house generators to ensure power continuity. For us and many of our neighbors, including the elderly living on fixed income, those of us raising families, and the many residents that have lost their jobs, have been furloughed, or are working on reduced hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an unaffordable and an unreasonable burden.
We have only one source of power from Summit Road. This one source of power repeatedly goes out, not only when the weather gets bad, but often, during perfectly normal, sunny days. We are requesting that JCP&L address this situation with urgency. Whether the solution is to add another power line source, hardy tree wires and/or underground wiring, we require a well-defined solution with a well-defined timeline to resolution.
If we do not receive a response from you by August 31, 2020, it is our intent to submit this complaint to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
The Baltusrol Top Neighborhood