The parent company of Jersey Central Power and Light is touting its new mobile phone app as a potentially helpful tool during times of power outages.
The app launched by FirstEnergy Corp. is free for its customers in the five states the company's utilities serve, and offers quicker access to outage maps, simplified reporting of outages, and access to personal account information.
“Our new smartphone app and mobile website make it easier for our customers to stay in touch with us and conduct every-day transactions when they’re on the go, whether it’s reporting a power outage or paying a bill,” Ronald I. Green, vice president of Customer Service, said. “The new tools also make our simple and secure online bill payment programs even more convenient.”
The app also offers "click-to-call" for customer service and links to the company’s social media sites and the company's website.
Many New Jersey residents have been demanding better communication on power supply outages from the company, especially after Superstorm Sandy knocked power out for hundreds of thousands of residents for more than a week. The company was also directed to develop better communications by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities after 2011's Hurricane Irene also caused widespread and sustained power outages.
The mobile website is automatically enabled when customers use a smartphone to visit www.firstenergycorp.com. Apple iPhone and Android smartphone apps are available for each of FirstEnergy’s 10 electric operating companies—customers can use the keyword "FirstEnergy" to locate the apps in the online store.
The company said the app and mobile website are part of FirstEnergy’s ongoing efforts to "enhance service to its utility customers." The company is also developing two-way text messaging and email alerts for outages for the apps.