By Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
A state administrative law judge has recommended state regulators cut Jersey Central Power & Light’s rates by $107.5 million. It is now time for the Board of Public Utilities to act. JCP&L customers have waited over three years for relief. The BPU should respond quickly and in the best interest of consumers who have been footing the bill.
In 2011, the Division of Rate Counsel voiced concerns that JCP&L was earning excessive profits and not investing in infrastructure improvements. BPU ordered JCP&L to open its books to determine whether its profits were reasonable. The findings proved they were not, which is what the ratepayer advocate and I had been saying all along. BPU staff recommended that JCP&L cut its rates by $169.8 million.Art Gallagher | Filed under: Amy Handlin, Caroline Casagrande, JCP&L | Tags: Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Board of Public Utilities, BPU, Hurricane Irene, JCP&L, Superstorm Sandy | Comments Off on Casagrande: BPU should act now to force JCP&L to repay overcharges
“Sometimes the process works”
Assemblyman O’Scanlon praised the process that led to the comprehensive and sensible solution to the placement of electric meters in flood zones. “As hard as it is to accept, conflicting concerns will mean we sometimes encounter frustrating rules and regulations” said O’Scanlon. “Sometimes those enshrined rules and regulations can be exceedingly difficult to alter, even in the face of drastically altered conditions. So when we came across the meter height issue a few weeks ago, I was very concerned.”
O’Scanlon was contacted by a constituent, along with local Sea Bright officials regarding the conflicting guidance pertaining to the placement of her electric meter. “The original guidance directed her to place the meter above the base flood elevation level, which she did. The problem arose when JCP&L representatives showed up and informed the homeowner to move the meter down to 5.5 feet above ground level, well below the future flood level. We almost simultaneously encountered the issue during an inspection of rebuilt neighborhoods in Union Beach. I immediately contacted JCP&L and the Governor’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery. Everyone ‘s attitude was immediately open-minded. The JCP&L folks explained the reasoning behind their rules – they must have easy access to meters in case of fire or other emergencies – but understood that a better solution was needed for these flood prone areas and they committed to finding one”.admin | Filed under: Flood Maps, JCP&L, Press Release, Sea Bright | Tags: Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, Declan O'Scanlon, Electric Meter Installation, JCP&L, Press Release, Sea Bright | Comments Off on O’Scanlon announces new electric meter installation guidelines for flood zones
Monmouth County Legislators to Present Petitions Against JCP&L’s Rate Hike at Tomorrow’s Public Hearing in Freehold
Assemblywomen Amy Handlin and Caroline Casagrande plan to present petitions tomorrow signed by 1,500 ratepayers opposed to a proposed electricity rate hike by Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L).
“We will speak for the hundreds of ratepayers who are tired of paying more for less service,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “This proposal to take about $85 more per year from hard-working families lacks credibility because JCP&L has yet to answer very serious charges of pocketing corporate profit instead of investing in the improvements that would have made our service more reliable and our rates more tolerable.”admin | Filed under: Amy Handlin, Caroline Casagrande, Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L, Press Release, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Board of Public Utilities, BPU, JCP&L, Press Release, Rate hike | Comments Off on Handlin & Casagrande to Submit 1,500 Objections to JCP&L’s Proposed Rate Increase
Public hearings for JCP&L’s proposed rate increase started yesterday in Toms River. The Monmouth County hearing is on April 24 at the Freehold Township Municipal Building.
Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande (R-11) and Amy Handlin (R-13) have already gathered 1300 constituent signatures on a petition opposing the JCP&L rate increase. The petition will be submitted to the Board of the Public Utilities at the Freehold hearing.
“Our constituents are tired of over promises and underperformances by their electric company and we’re going to make sure their voices are heard until JCP&L pulls the plug on this rate hike,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “JCP&L’s customers have already paid the price by suffering through prolonged outages, so our response to their request is a simple and firm, ‘No.’”
Handlin and Casagrande noted their constituent’s outrage with JCP&L’s poor performance in restoring power and keeping families, businesses and communities informed during prolonged outages – most notably Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. The petition also notes the allegation by the N.J. Division of Rate Counsel that the utility is earning too much profit from New Jersey ratepayers to send back to its parent company in Ohio.
“We can say it once, or we can say it a thousand times, the answer is still, ‘No,’” Casagrande, R-Monmouth, said. “Losing power for extended periods of time is a very difficult and costly burden for families and businesses. We have had more than our share of severe outages because JCP&L refused to invest its corporate profits to update its infrastructure and keep the power on in our communities.”
The petition can be signed online here.
Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Amy Handlin, Caroline Casagrande, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L, Monmouth County | Tags: Amy Handlin, Board of Public Utilities, BPU, Caroline Casagrande, Freehold Township, NJ Division of Rate Counsel | 9 Comments »
Last week, utility provider JCP&L announced it was investing $200 million this year to improve it electric support system in an effort to improve service reliability. Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Amy Handlin today asked why JCP&L did not disclose at the same time that it had filed for a 4.5 percent rate increase to recover costs from Superstorm Sandy and other storms which was revealed the next day.
“On Thursday, JCP&L was out front with the news that it was investing $200 million to improve its infrastructure and that ratepayers wouldn’t be affected because the costs were already part of the company’s yearly budget,” said Handlin, R-Monmouth. “At the end of the day on Friday, the utility then informs the public it is filing for a 4.5 percent increase to cover cleanup costs from previous storms. JCP&L is badly misinformed if it thought that tidbit would escape public notice.
“Good public relations starts with being upfront about everything, including an increase request that will be passed onto ratepayers,” said Handlin, who has been critical of the utility’s efforts in restoring lost power over the last two years. “Ratepayers deserve to see improvements to the critical framework in JCP&L’s system and have assurances that their infrastructure is reliable before a rate increase is even entertained.
“JCP&L should focus on improving its performance to its customers,” stated Handlin. “On Wall Street, bad news is often revealed after the closing bell. For customers of JCP&L, there is no closing bell. They just want to know the lights are on.”
Last year, the Division of Rate Counsel filed a petition contending JCP&L is earning a profit exceeding 12 percent in New Jersey – far above the allowable 8.5 percent.
Handlin pointed out that PSE&G, the state’s largest utility provider, recently announced it was seeking the BPU’s approval to spend $3.9 billion over the next 10 years to protect and improve its electric and gas systems against severe weather conditions.Posted: February 25th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Amy Handlin, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L, Press Release | Tags: Amy Handlin, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, JCP&L, rate increase | Comments Off on HANDLIN: JCP&L SHOULD INVEST TIME AND $$$ IN INFRASTRUCTURE INSTEAD OF RATE INCREASE
What did JCP&L’s parent company learn from Hurricane Irene and the October 2011 Nor’easter? Nothing. They just assumed their great grandchildren would have to just deal with the next one.
The president of First Energy Utilities (parent company of JCP&L) told financial analysts that the company doesn’t plan for 100 year storms, according to a report on NJSpotLight.
“And I think we really understood that these storms are — I mean I tell Tony [Anthony Alexander, chief executive officer and executive director of FirstEnergy] they are 100-year storms.’’
“So he’s not going to have to worry about them again, hopefully. But they can’t be prevented and you can’t plan for them,” Jones said.
“And I’ve gotten questions at the board [of directors] several times about how we’re going to increase our storm budget because of them and the answer is no. I mean, they are literally events that I don’t think we should plan for. When they come, we will deal with them,’’ Jones said.
Charles E Jones was speaking on a earnings call on February 29, 2012.
From First Energy’s website:
Charles E. Jones is president, FirstEnergy Utilities, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. He has responsibility for Energy Delivery, Customer Service, compliance with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission transmission requirements, and Energy Efficiency activities, while leading FirstEnergy’s 10 regulated electric utility companies and other regulated operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.
Chuck began his career with Ohio Edison as a substation engineer in 1978. He held a variety of positions in the Akron, Marion and Elyria areas, and in 1995 was named president of Ohio Edison’s Penn Power subsidiary. He returned to Akron in 1996 as division manager. Chuck was named president of FirstEnergy’s Northern Region in 1997, vice president of Regional Operations in 2001, senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Service in 2003, and president, FirstEnergy Solutions Corp., in 2007. He was named senior vice president, Energy Delivery and Customer Service, in 2009, and senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities, in February 2010.
Posted: December 13th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L | Tags: Charles E Jones, Chuck Jones | 2 Comments »