1.2 million New Jersey utility customers in line for slight rate cut

 The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities meets Wednesday to announce a rate rollback for Jersey Central Power & Light customers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities meets Wednesday to announce a rate rollback for Jersey Central Power & Light customers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey utility regulators have approved a long-sought rate reduction for Jersey Central Power and Light Company 1.2 million customers.

A JCP&L customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will save about $20 a year.

JCP&L had been accused of overcharging customers, and an administrative law judge recommended rate relief of $107 million.

But the Board of Public Utilities, which included the company’s 2012 costs incurred during Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath in its calculations, approved a $34 million decrease Wednesday.

It’s an appropriate outcome, said Richard Mroz, BPU president.

“To ensure that on the timely basis the company is treated fairly and that the ratepayers are paying only fair and justifiable rates, and the customers are provided the quality of service they deserve,” he said.

Though she had been hoping for a larger rollback, AARP’s associate state director said the decrease will make a difference.

“Certainly for our members a couple dollars is meaningful,” said Evelyn Liebman. “We think they could come down more, and we will be reviewing the decision to see where we may challenge some aspects of it.”

While JCP&L has been trying harder to improve service, Mroz said concerns continue about the company’s operations and management.

The BPU will review those aspects of JCP&L’s performance in preparation for an audit of the company’s books.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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