Atlantic City Electric rates will jump 4% next month

Atlantic City Electric rates will increase 4 percent on Oct. 1, or about $5.52 per month for a residential customer, under a rate-increase settlement approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. In March, the company had requested a 6.6 percent rate increase.

Under the settlement, negotiated with various consumer advocates and the BPU staff, Atlantic City Electric will receive about $43 million in additional annual revenue. The utility had requested a $70.2 million increase that would have boosted a typical monthly residential bill by $9.

Atlantic City Electric, which is owned by Exelon Corp., said the increase was justified by the need for upgrades to its infrastructure. Like many other utilities, it said it needs higher rates to cover its costs in a climate of declining sales caused by greater efficiency and customers who have installed solar systems.

The utility serves 550,000 customers in South Jersey.