TRENTON – The president of the Board of Public Utilities told Senate lawmakers that the reason a major utility company in the state is requesting a rate increase hearing is essentially a way for the BPU to sit down with the company.
Robert Hanna, president of the BPU, said Jersey Central Power & Light Co. was ordered to file for a rate increase over several concerns the BPU has with the company. The utility was criticized earlier during today’s Senate hearing by lawmakers who said it was inappropriate for them to request an increase during what they said was a less than stellar response to superstorm Sandy.
“I just want to be very clear on (that point),” said Hanna, reiterating that JCP&L was ordered to appear before the BPU.
The president of the oversight board said the meeting was ordered for several reasons, namely concerns from the BPU over whether profits made by the company are being sent out of state and over other concerns about the company’s response to storms.
“There was a concern that JCP&L is essentially taking money from New Jersey and sending it to its parent (company),” said Hanna, explaining there is a concern JCP&L may be a “cash cow” for its parent company in Ohio.
Hanna assured lawmakers that the company’s rate hike request will be closely scrutinized by the BPU.