In September 2011, the Division of Rate Council presented the Board of Public Utilities with evidence that Jersey Central Power and Light has beenovercharging its customers. Three years have passed, and the BPU doesn’t seem inclined to stop them any time soon.

Yet JCP&L is asking for a $31 million rate increase when its customers are actually entitled to a rate decrease of over $200 million. Not only that, but in the midst of rising complaints regarding reliability of service from customers, the company actually reduced spending to improve reliability while taking in additional funds for precisely that purpose. It seems that the only one that is benefiting from all these additional funds is the JCP&L’s sole shareholder and parent company, FirstEnergy, which was sent a vast majority of the company’s earnings between 2008 and 2010.

The BPU needs to take a stand against such blatant profiteering and follow its mandate ensure safe, adequate and proper service for New Jersey ratepayers at rates that are just and reasonable. Every day that the BPU doesn’t take action is a day that customers are paying unfair rates, when that money could be spent on essentials like food, shelter, and healthcare. So the real question is: what’s taking so long?

Jim Dieterle
State Director
AARP New Jersey