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Freeholders: State Should Deny JCP&L Rate Hike

Local officials blast 4.5 percent rate hike proposal

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
The state Board of Public Utilities should deny Jersey Central Power and Light a 4.5 percent rate hike to cover its costs from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari said this week.

“Faced with rising rebuilding and insurance costs, the absolute last thing our Sandy-stricken communities need is a higher utility bill,” said Vicari in a letter to Dianne Solomon, president of the board.

The county's freeholder board are among a slew of local officials who have taken JCP&L to task since Sandy struck the Jersey Shore, accusing the company of taking too long to restore power to thousands of customers in the storm's wake and not communicating adequately with local residents and public officials.

The utility and the staff of the BPU reached a tentative deal in late February raise rates 4.5 percent to cover JCP&L's costs stemming from the two hurricanes and several nor'easters, but the hike requires the blessing of the full board before it can be implemented.

“This request from the utility company is unreasonable and I urge the BPU not to place another financial burden on our residents,” said Vicari, who previously asked for a moratorium on rate hikes in storm-stricken communities.

The freeholder board has also long asked New Jersey governors to appoint an Ocean County resident to the BPU, a request that has never been fulfilled.

JCP&L says it needs the rate hike to cover $736 million in repair bills. If the increase is approved by the BPU, the average customer's bill would go up by about $4.41 per month, NJ.com reported.

mike mc March 10, 2014 at 09:12 PM
has anyone really looked at their electric bill lately? look at the "energy charge" column, my energy charge has gone up 20% in the last 5 months, although this cannot be tied directly to jcp&l its still money out of our pockets, and now they want an additional $5.00 a month. take a close look at that "energy charge" on your bills , thats where the huge increase is coming from, and its going up virtually every month so you don't notice it..mine up 20% in 5 months !!
disgusted homeowner March 11, 2014 at 07:42 AM
For Years JCP&L has let their infrastructure, substations, generators, etc. fall to pieces with ZERO reinvestment or upgrades. THEIR electrical grid is ready to self destruct, in some cases they can't even get rplacement parts for their aging substations. It's a pathetically poorly run company from the top down. But those big execs keep getting their millions while we the ratepayers get substandard servie. The BPU should dis-enfranchise them and get another electric provider for Ocean and Monmouth County. Long Island, New York got rid of LILCO after decades of problemsand PSE&G took over last year. It can be done and needs to be done HERE and NOW
disgusted homeowner March 11, 2014 at 07:45 AM
@mike mc i had a similar problem with estimated bills this year when we DIDN'T have any snow blocking my meter. Go figure. Guess they laid off too many meter readers too......
Matthew Nolan March 11, 2014 at 09:25 AM
Folks, keep in mind that JCP & L is only involved with the delivery portion of your bill. The delivery portion of your bill is increasing 4.5%. What you can address is the supply side by choosing a third party provider.
mike mc March 11, 2014 at 09:17 PM
the" supply side" can and does raise prices whenever they choose, bpu does not get involved in this aspect, its no different than gas at your local filling station, we have no say in how often or how much they charge us!! thats where were really getting hurt. i use a 3rd party supplier and at this point my cost has still risen 20% in 5 months.

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