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McGUCKIN: JCP&L SHOULD WITHDRAW
RATE INCREASE REQUEST
Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, who sits on the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, said today that he believe Jersey Central Power & Light Company should withdraw their recently submitted request to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for a $31.5 million rate hike in order to cover the costs of Hurricane Irene in September, 2011 and the snowstorm which followed in October that same year. The proposed increase would go into effect in August, 2013.
“JCP&L is using the order by the BPU to file a base rate case as an opportunity to increase their customers’ electric bill. Their timing couldn’t be worse and I’m not sure it’s justified,” said McGuckin, R-Ocean. “The reason the order was issued was because the state Division Rate Counsel was suspicious that JCP&L was earning an excessive profit. If JCP&L has any sense, they will vacate their request and focus on improving their communications during an emergency.”
According to a consultant hired by the rate counsel’s office, JCP&L exceeded its approved rate of return of 8.5 percent by nearly 3.9 percent in 2010. The order would have required the utility to open its books to determine its actual return.
During today’s committee hearing, McGuckin asked JCP&L President Don Lynch if the company would withdraw its proposed increase until the BPU determines whether the company earned an excessive return. Lynch responded that he would discuss the request with JCP&L’s parent company, FirstEnergy, which is based in Ohio.
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