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Lawmakers Launch Online Drive To Stop JCP&L Rate Hike

If the thought of another rate hike for Jersey Central Power and Light has you fuming, a group of Republican Monmouth lawmakers are giving you a place to vent on the web…and they hope that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities pays attention.

JCP&L Staging Area
JCP&L Staging Area (FirstEnergy Corp., Flickr)

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-13) organized an online petition urging the BPU to turn down the 14% increase that JCP&L seeks. The company attributes the request to costs associated with Hurricane Irene in 2011. Find it at http://www.tinyurl.com/norateincrease.

“Every voice counts, especially those who have been repeatedly kept in the dark for days waiting for JCP&L to do its job and turn the power back on,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said in a statement. “After several failures – most notably Hurricanes Sandy and Irene – many communities are exploring whether they can fire JCP&L. I haven’t heard one argument to support giving the utility a raise.”

The electricity supplier has undergone withering scrutiny for its handling of power restoration and communication in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Thousands remained in the dark weeks in the aftermath.

The Division of Rate Counsel claims that JCP&L maintains profits above 12% in New Jersey, exceeding the regulatory limit of 8.5%.

“The utility’s performance in recent years has been dreadful and we’re not going to just sit back and allow them to take more money out of our constituents’ pockets to boost the bottom line of the parent company in Ohio, ” Handlin said. “Our constituents are tired of overpromises and underperformances from JCP&L. The BPU should pull the plug on JCP&L’s rate hike.”

Signing on to the effort are her colleagues in the 13th Legislative District, state Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon; Senator Jennifer Beck and Assembly Members Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande (R-11); Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton (R-12); and Senator Robert Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Dave Rible (R-30).

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