Lawmakers, AARP call on NJ utility to return some profits to customers

 Lawmakers and AARP members call for rate relief for JCP&L customers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Lawmakers and AARP members call for rate relief for JCP&L customers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Several New Jersey lawmakers and the AARP are urging state regulators to provide immediate relief for some utility customers.

JCP&L, New Jersey’s second largest utility, is earning more than regulations allow, said state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex.

 

“JCP&L has been shamelessly earning too much money for too many years, and I think that’s the bottom line. They need to be reined in,” she said Wednesday during a news conference. “The need to provide relief to the consumers who’ve been so aggrieved by them.”

AARP delivered petitions from thousands of residents to the Board of Public Utilities, calling for a rate reduction of more than $200 million.

It says the higher charges means customers on low or fixed incomes might have to turn off the heat in part of their homes.

Evelyn Liebman, associate state director of AARP, said JCP&L is reaping more than its allowable rate of return, and that means customers are being overcharged.

“For many of us, particularly AARP members living on low, fixed, and moderate incomes, $17 a month can be the difference between taking the trip to see your grandkids or maybe keeping one more room in your house heated if you’re living in an all-electric home,” Liebman said.

JCP&L has denied that its profits exceeded approved levels.

 

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