BPU head scrutinizes PSE&G infrastructure upgrade plans

TRENTON – PSE&G customers could expect an 8 percent hike in rates if the utility’s proposed $3.9 billion infrastructure improvement plan is implemented, among other things, BPU President Robert Hanna said.

Hanna was critical of the $3.9 billion Energy Strong plan PSE&G proposed a couple of months ago in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, likening it more to “an artist’s rendering than a blueprint.”

“We need to see the details so the board could do its job,” Hanna said. He gave the example of whether the utility plans to build walls around substations.

The Energy Strong plan mostly calls for raising substations, upgrading transmission lines, even moving some overhead lines underground, which would cost some $3 million per mile.

 The possible rate increase, he said, is not just from the Energy Strong Plan. Part of the rate hike could be attributed to a decline in revenue from other sources, such as low natural gas prices and deregulation, he told Assembly Budget lawmakers.

“As a steward of public money, I have to make sure (the money) is being spent in the most cost-effective manner.”

 

 

BPU head scrutinizes PSE&G infrastructure upgrade plans