Wayne Officials Trying to Force JCP&L to Upgrade Equipment
Town filed a notice requesting the utility upgrade its 'antiquated' and 'dilapidated' equipment. Officials want to hurt JCP&L in its 'pocketbook.'
Officials want Jersey Central Power & Light to be accountable to residents.
Mayor Chris Vergano wrote and filed a notice to intervene as a third party in the matter of JCP&L’s request to the Board of Public Utilities to raise its utility rates.
The notice was sent to Administrative Law Judge Richard McGill Monday. JCP&L has requested the BPU grant a 4.5 percent rate increase. The measure is intended to recoup some of the recovery costs associated with Sandy and other recent storms.
JCP&L provides power to about 15 percent of the town.
“We thought the best interest of the township would be for us to file a motion to intervene as a third party for their rate increase and hit them where it hurts: their pocketbooks,” Vergano said at a council meeting Wednesday.
Officials want McGill to instruct JCP&L to “establish a mechanism that will measure its reliability on an on-going basis.” They also want to force JCP&L to upgrade its equipment and “infrastructure” in town.
“We don’t want the cost of the infrastructure upgrades to be borne by the residents,” Vergano said. “It should come out of the profitability of the company.”
Vergano said in the notice that the frequency of power failures and subsequent response time to restore service is “wholly unacceptable.”
The notice states that third-party work crews commented to officials that JCP&L “antiquated” and “dilapidated” equipment “was a significant contributing factor” to the power failures that plagued Wayne during Sandy.
Officials are also attempting to have JCP&L’s license to sell power to Wayne residents revoked. They asked residents to sign a petition asking the BPU to support the proposed move; 1,800 people signed it.