Municipalities consider operating own power grid

November 16, 2012 3:05:51 PM PST
Several communities in New Jersey are reconsidering their contracts with large power companies.

They are unhappy about the response after Hurricane Sandy.

It turns out communities that provided their own power were able to restore electricity faster than those that relied on the state's two largest utility companies.

"You see this tree, it's full of termites," said Ramon Casais, a Summit resident.

A power line strung in between two large branches in front of Ramon Casais' home is a power outage waiting to happen.

Luckily, superstorm Sandy didn't bring them down, but his block was still in the dark almost two weeks.

"It's hard not to notice surrounding towns getting power back faster than we did," said David Krieger, a Summit resident.

They are envious of people who live in Madison who started getting power back on Wednesday.

Madison is one of nine municipalities in the state of New Jersey that operates its own power grid.

Now the city of Summit is looking into doing the same thing. It could try to buy out JCP&L, or residents could vote to condemn the utility company.

"I believe it would be prohibitively expensive but I'm willing to look into it," Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson said.

Residents agree something has to give.

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