Requires BPU to conduct biennial rate cases for public utilities; increases penalties for public utilities failing to comply with BPU orders.
Sponsored by: Assemblyman WAYNE P. DEANGELO District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
This bill requires biennial rate cases and increases certain penalties for public utilities and other entities subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
The bill amends existing law to require biennial rate cases for public utilities. Under current law, the BPU may, at its discretion, adjust rates charged by a public utility. The bill amends current law to require the BPU to determine biennially whether public utility rates are just and reasonable.
This bill amends existing law to increase civil penalties paid by all public utilities for violating any order of the BPU. Under the bill, civil penalties are increased from $100 per day to $25,000 per day for each violation; however, penalties are not to exceed $2,000,000 for any series of related events.
The bill establishes the “Board of Public Utilities Civil Penalty Fund” in the BPU, into which all penalties collected are to be deposited. The money in the fund is to be used to increase public utilities’ service quality and reliability. Civil penalties are not recoverable from ratepayers under the bill.