Some New Jersey residents will see their electric bills go up beginning June 1, after the state’s New Jersey 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 the increasing costs of power transmission, which are controlled by the federal government and not state regulators, NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said during a remotely held press conference on Feb. 11.
Public Service Electric and Gas customers will see their average monthly bill go up the most, with an increase of $3.65 on their electric bill. Following them is Atlantic City Electric, which will increase the monthly bill for customers by an average of 29 cents per month.
“This year’s weighted average energy cost will be fairly stable for New Jersey residents and business owners, a welcome result in the midst of what has been a difficult year for many due to the pandemic,” Fiordaliso said in a Thursday statement.
Michael Jennings, a spokesperson for PSEG, said in a statement that the increase will finance “significant investments” for upgrades in the company’s transmission and distribution networks.
That work entails the replacement of “aging infrastructure and improving system reliability and resiliency,” upgrades that have “reduced transmission outages … and eliminated congestion costs,” he continued. “Even with this modest increase, that customer’s bill will be only about 5% higher than in 2008, and 13% lower when you factor in inflation for the same period.”
PSE&G’s increases last year of $5.20 per month for the electric bill were the highest of any energy provider in the state.
But Fiordaliso and several NJBPU officials, along with Jennings, said that the increases were not related to the massive nuclear energy subsidies approved for PSEG in 2019. Those are up for consideration this April, when the state agency will determine whether the subsidies will need to be lowered.
A trio of reports that the firm Levitan & Associates prepared for the NJBPU and released in January each reported that PSEG’s “revenue and cost adjustments … would significantly reduce PSEG’s requested subsidy amounts.”