New Jersey residents will see their electric bills go up starting June 1, after the state’s Board of Public Utilities approved the results of the state’s annual power supply auction, which determines energy prices.
The move comes largely in response to an ever-increasing cost of electricity and power transmissions, BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said at the Feb. 5 board meeting.
Atlantic City Electric will increase the monthly bill by 40 cents, or 0.3 percent, according to the BPU. Jersey Central Power & Light Co. will increase the monthly bill by $2.09 – 2.4 percent; Public Service Electric & Gas Co. will increase the average monthly bill by $5.20 – 4.4 percent; and Rockland Electric customers will see their monthly bills drop $1.89, or 1.6 percent.
The price increases will be seen by residential and small commercial customers on their bills, the BPU said.
“We expected to see higher prices and that’s what we got,’’ Frank Mossburg, managing director of Bates White, who the board hired to oversee the auction, said on Wednesday.
Prices for contracts – which are set every three years – will also go up because the “older, less expensive contracts” that were signed three years ago are set to expire, the BPU said in a Wednesday statement.
PSEG’s rates increased the most because of higher costs for transmission services, the BPU continued.
Michael Jennings, a spokesperson for PSEG, said that the utility has poured significant amounts of money into upgrading its transmission infrastructure, and despite the $5.20 increase, electric bills are only “about 4 percent higher than” a decade ago.
“These upgrades have reduced transmission outages by 80 percent and eliminated congestion costs – which cost customers $450 million in 2008 – and improved resiliency by adding smart-grid technologies,” Jennings added.
Last April, the BPU approved a $300 million subsidy for PSEG, financed by ratepayers as a surcharge on their monthly bill, to keep its three nuclear plants in the state open.
“The cost of transmission is out of hand and has been out of hand for a long time, and just continues to increase the cost to the ratepayer,” Fiordaliso said.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:46 a.m. EST on Feb. 7, 2020 to include comments from PSEG.