PRINCETON, NJ - AARP is pleased that the result of today’s actions by the NJ Board of Public Utilities will be a reduction in base utility rates for JCP&L’s more than 1 million customers. Prior to today’s decision, JCP&L’s rates had not been fully reviewed for almost a decade. And while we are disappointed that rates are not being lowered more, a rate cut is certainly better than a rate increase.
This decision vindicates the efforts of AARP and others, led by the Division of Rate Counsel, who petitioned the Board to require JCP&L open its books on evidence it was overcharging ratepayers and who persevered through a complex and lengthy process to ensure that JCP&L customers are only paying rates that are fair and reasonable. Today’s BPU decision affirms that the company was indeed overcharging its customers.
The $115 million base rate reduction is offset in part by today’s additional BPU decision to allow the company to begin recovering, in its rates, the Superstorm Sandy-related storm costs it reasonably incurred. Deciding both of these issues today allows for the recovery of these extraordinary costs from ratepayers without increasing their bills. In fact JCP&L revenues will be CUT by $35 million annually.
AARP is pleased that JCP&L will also be required to file another base rate case by April 2017 to ensure that the company’s books are reviewed in a timely manner and that future rates are fair and reasonable.