Many East Coast utility companies have come under fire recently after lackluster responses to customers during severe weather. However, one New Jersey organization introduced two new technologies to make it easier for customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland to receive information on their mobile devices.

FirstEnergy Corp, which owns Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) will now have a system that its customers can subscribe to and receive email and/or text message alerts about bills, weather conditions that may impact electrical service, or updates on reported outages. According to a FirstEnergy Corp press release, it is a two-way text alert system, as consumers can also report outages and request updates through texting.

"Our new alerts and text messaging services provide customers with a simple and convenient way to receive the most current information related to their electric service, right in their inbox or on their mobile devices," Ronald Green, vice president of Customer Service said in the release. "These tools are part of FirstEnergy's ongoing effort to enhance service to our utility customers, including making it easier to get bills electronically and report power outages."

This is not the first technological innovation that FirstEnergy Corp has launched. Earlier this year it created smartphone apps for Apple iPhone and Android devices, and a mobile website that is accessible by using a smartphone.

When severe weather strikes, or if there are just power issues, customers want to remain in the loop about when service will resume. It is crucial for utility companies to remain innovative in finding ways to keep contact open.

Swift SMS Gateway offers key tools that businesses can integrate into daily operations to create an effective emergency text service that will encourage two-way communication.