DID YOU KNOW?
1. While not as “visible” as other environmental concerns such as clean water and clean air, power outages and interruptions are and should be a major concern.
2. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration: “New Jersey’s average electricity prices are typically among the 10 highest of the 50 states.”
3. The transmission rates for New Jersey’s largest utility company increased by more than 400% since 2010?
4. First Energy’s operating utility companies, which include Jersey Central Power & Light, ranked among the bottom half in performance and reliability.
5. Power outages result in productivity loss and hurt the economy (estimated to be more than $150 billion loss each year for the US).
6. In addition to being left in the dark, power outages pose safety, security and health risks, especially during the winter with freezing temperature.
7. Power outages have widespread social costs and implications across many facets of society (e.g., working parents with kids, school “snow days”, seniors and infirmed with medical equipment, spoiled food, etc.).
8. Out-of-state utility workers helping with storm responses in New Jersey observed and commented that our electrical grid system is outdated and antiquated.
9. There were huge public outcries regarding storm responses by utility companies after Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities conducted investigations in the wake of these public outcries. This happened again after winter storms Quinn and Riley in 2018. At the urging of Governor Phil Murphy, there is now another investigation by the BPU.
10. In a legal brief filed in a 2012 JCP&L rate filing case, the NJ Division of Rate Counsel wrote:
“The Booth Audit makes clear that JCP&L has a long history of poor reliability performance. In response to the audits, the Board awarded additional funds to JCP&L in the Phase II of the Company’s last base rate case in 2005 to allow it to improve reliability.”
“But as discussed below, after making initial repairs, it is unclear whether the Company continued to use all the funds collected for continued reliability investment. Instead, it appears that excess funds went to shareholder dividends.”
“JCP&L’s poor performance continues to this day.”
11. In a letter dated May 17, 2018 to the President of the NJ Board of Public Utilities, Monmouth County Freeholder Pat Impreveduto wrote:
"As you are already aware, power outages are a common occurrence and a great inconvenience. What is troubling is that JCP&L does not have any method to discover power outages in their service areas and relies solely on individuals reporting after they have lost power.
With all the great technological advances we enjoy today, this is appalling and, frankly, unacceptable.”
Stefanie A. Brand, Esq.
NJ Division of Rate Counsel
Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
12. In May 2018, a NJ law was passed that will pay PSE&G almost $1 billion (over a 3-year period) in nuclear subsidies despite the fact that their nuclear plants are currently profitable and there was no public financial information disclosure. The subsidies come at the expense of all New Jersey consumers, whether PSE&G customers or not.
13. There is a push for offshore wind and other clean renewable energy in New Jersey. We applaud and support these initiatives. However, regardless how power is generated, these energy sources must still be connected through the neglected and antiquated local distribution system, the source behind most of the power outages.
The current system is broken. It needs to be fixed.
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