EnergizeNJ: How businesses will benefit from JCP&L plan

Jersey Central Power & Light President Jim Fakult knows the potential impact of the company’s five-year, $935 million EnergizeNJ proposal will be felt greatly by the residential owners that make up the majority of the company’s 1.1 million customers.

Fakult is confident EnergizeNJ will increase reliability and resiliency, meaning fewer outages overall — and shorter outages when they do occur.

The proposal also will benefit the business community, an area Fakult has made a top priority through his involvement with the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (where he is a former chair) and Choose New Jersey.

“We’re keeping our finger on the pulse of what is going on in the state and what’s coming,” he said. “Look at the industry we have in the state, pharma and health care, warehousing and logistics. Those industries demand improved and better reliability.”

The company does modeling within the state — and, since it is a part of Ohio-based First Energy, which also covers Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, it gets regional analysis as well. JCP&L also works closely with PJM, which controls the regional grid, Fakult said.

“We know what areas are growing,” Fakult said.

He points to significant growth in a number of geographic areas, including Lakewood, the Route 9 corridor and in Parsippany.

Service area

Jersey Central Power & Light serves 1.1 million customers in parts of 13 counties: Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

“We see the amount of homes and commercial buildings,” he said. “We track all that, so we know what’s coming.”

What’s coming is greater electrification — including in commercial buildings, Fakult said.

“We know where the state is headed and we’re going to meet the demands,” he said.

The same can be said for clean energy.

“We’re very aware of the trends nationally and on the East Coast — and, obviously, in Jersey, it’s where the market is going,” he said. “We know what this administration wants to do and we fully support it.”