Written by Patch Editors Colleen Platt and Keith Brown
Officials in Brick are taking aim at a proposal by Jersey Central Power and Light's to increase rates.
Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni has asked Mayor Stephen Acropolis to initiate a letter to the BPU opposing the hike, and asked that residents do the same.
Fresh off widespread criticism for its handling of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter that followed, JCP&L is seeking a 4.1 percent increase in the rates it charges its 1.1 million customers – many of whom - including in Brick - were without power for up to two weeks after this winter’s storms.
"Our community was devastated by Hurricane Sandy and JCP&L compounded the distress of our residents by failing to update customers properly and leaving many in the dark - literally - for two weeks," Sangiovanni said in a prepared statement released to Patch.
The Morristown-based company, the main power supplier in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties, is seeking to recoup the $630 million it spent on repairs following Sandy. It has petitioned the state regulatory board -- the Board of Public Utilities -- which has held hearings throughout JCP&L’s coverage area in recent months.
If the BPU approves the rate hike, the average monthly power bill would increase from about $98.10 to about $102.54, an increase of around $4.44. The estimate is based on a household that uses 650 kilowatts monthly.
Company officials point out that even with
the rate increase – the first since 2005 -- JCP&L has the lowest
rates of any power company in the state. JCP&L's parent company is FirstEnergy.