Officials call on New Jersey utility companies to reimburse customers amid power outages

Several New Jersey officials are calling on the state’s utility companies to reimburse customers who lost food and medicine while the power was out.

News 12 Staff

Aug 12, 2020, 11:13 AM

Updated 1,345 days ago

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Several New Jersey officials are calling on the state’s utility companies to reimburse customers who lost food and medicine while the power was out.
Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano says, “Most of the residents of Parsippany experienced a severe and unnecessary hardship in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias in the midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis.”
The mayor says, “I have heard from hundreds of residents over the last week – who are justifiably angry with JCP&L’s response. Now that the power is fully restored – further action on your part is needed.”
Your Photos: Tropical Storm Isaias
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Thousands of New Jersey residents were without power for several days after the storm tore through the Garden State.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco used to work for PSE&G. He says that the company needs to stop up and do the right thing.
“My time as an elected official over 20 years – this was one of the worst,” Tedesco says regarding the storm.
MORE: Live Blog - Isaias' aftermath

Over 125,000 people lost power in Bergen County alone. Tedesco says that anyone who was without power for more than two days should be reimbursed for spoiled food and medicine – especially with the hardships many are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Think about losing a refrigerator full of $500-600 worth of food or medicine that you had to go and pay hundreds of dollars for,” Tedesco says.
Con Edison in New York is now paying people back, along with Orange & Rockland Electric, which serves 1/3 of Bergen County.
Food distributor Juan Garcia says that he lost about $150,000-worth of produce. His Newark warehouse was without power for four days. He says that PSE&G was not motivated to figure it out the issue.
“I gotta tell you, they were horrific. Every supervisor would show up looking at the sky, looking at the generators. And nothing ever got done for four days,” Garcia says.
He says that he has insurance, but that his rates keep increasing – along with electric bills.
Tedesco says that he knows that Isaias was a bad storm and that crews worked hard to restore power. But he says that more needs to be done.
“This is five, six, seven days,” he says.
Atlantic City Electric says that the company does consider paying back residents. PSE&G did not issue a comment on the topic.
A spokesperson for JCP&L tells News 12 New Jersey, “Unfortunately, we do not reimburse for food lost or expenses incurred during a weather-related power outage. We suggest inquiring with your insurance company to determine if your policy covers such losses.”


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