Source: Assembly Republican Press Release –
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande denounced a tentative settlement that would pass a repair bill of $736 million down to JCP&L ratepayers.
“This is a tough one to take,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “After the storms, our communities were left in the dark, in large part due to JCP&L’s operational dysfunction. Furthermore, the power remained off for far too long in many neighborhoods.
“It is outrageous that the company that couldn’t turn the lights back on is getting the OK to jack up rates on the very customers they failed,” Casagrande continued. “This is the worst kind of bail out, levied on the ratepayers.”
Casagrande said the tentative settlement was especially disappointing when only a month ago the BPU said JCP&L, should cut rates by $200 million. The company was cited for earning a profit in excess of its state-approved level. “We just found out that JCP&L has spent years overcharging their customers while neglecting to upgrade and improve their infrastructure,” added the Assemblywoman.
“This substantial rate increase is unacceptable, in light of JCP&L’s past performance. These repair costs should be borne by the company shareholders who have been reaping the rewards of excessive profits,” said Casagrande. “Trimming trees, fixing poles and wires, and maintaining the distribution system is a ‘cost of doing business’ when you are charging customers for power.”