JCP&L customers should no longer experience protracted power outages similar to that which proceeded Superstorm Sandy.

JCP&L Staging Area (FirstEnergy Corp., Flickr)

The utility announced the completion of its 2013 equipment upgrades aimed at enhancing service reliability in the future.

JCP&L Spokesman Ron Morano said the upgrades are a part of a $200 million dollar investment with projects that include, "upgrading nearly 100 circuits that serve more than 100,000 customers as well as scanning 400 distribution lines. We've inspected over 284 overhead and underground circuits and nearly 34,000 utility polls have been inspected as well."

Morano said they also enhanced municipal and customer communication by launching a new 'My Town' web page, established a free smartphone app and text alerts, added three area managers located closer to their customer base and named its first Emergency Preparedness Manager.

"One of the things we're doing is using technology as well", according to Morano. He said "that technology enables us to shorten power outages when they occur, letting them affect less customers. We're able to remotely restore customers to service."

The utility's press release stated some of the highlights of reliability work performed by the company in the shore area this year includes completing a new $10 million transmission line from the Larabee to Howell substations in Monmouth County, as well as reconnecting service to tens of thousands of customers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties as repairs were completed to homes damaged by the Superstorm.

The utility has also forged an agreement with a union. Morano said they created a partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in the northern and central service territories to provide extra safety personnel during emergencies.

JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. They serve 101 million customers in New Jersey in Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington, Middlesex, Morris, Essex, Hunterdon, Bergen, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties.