Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

$1.2 billion in PSE&G grid upgrades close to earning approval

A tentative settlement to allow Public Service Electric & Gas to spend more than $1.2 billion to harden its gas and electric infrastructure is very close to winning approval from state regulators and even from critics of its "Energy Strong" plan.

$1.2 billion in PSE&G grid upgrades close to earning approval

A tentative settlement to allow Public Service Electric & Gas to spend more than $1.2 billion to harden its gas and electric infrastructure is very close to winning approval from state regulators and even from critics of its "Energy Strong" plan.

The proposed agreement is a bit above the $1 billion program suggested by the BPU in February.

The proposal, the subject of intense negotiations among most parties in the case over the past few days, would reach an agreement on the Newark utility’s initial petition to spend $2.6 billion over the next five years to prevent widespread outages like those that occurred during Hurricane Sandy.

Although some details need to be worked out, people familiar with the settlement said it could be wrapped up in the next few days, possibly as early as today. The proposed settlement would still have to be by approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the state agency that oversees utility expenditures.

The proposal is viewed as an important signal as to how far the state is willing to go to increase utility bills to prevent power outages that left much of the state without service during the superstorm in October 2012, many for a week or more.

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