A petition protesting a planned electricity rate hike by Jersey Central Power and Light reached 1,500 on Wednesday, and two legislators were promising to oppose the proposal at a public hearing, TheLakewoodScoop.com reported.
“We will speak for the hundreds of ratepayers who are tired of paying more for less service,” Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth) said.
The hike would take approximately an extra $85 a year from the average user, and Handlin and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) plan to present the petitions to JCP&L representatives.
Hearings were scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
JCP&L wants the 4.5 percent increase to repair damage caused by Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Casagrande and Handlin, and hundreds of their constituents, object to the proposal because of an unanswered allegation from a nonpartisan government watchdog that JCP&L collected more profit than legally allowed from New Jersey ratepayers while allowing its infrastructure to deteriorate.
“After JCP&L literally left our communities in the dark and sent New Jersey ratepayers’ money to its parent company in Ohio, the utility is back with hands in our pockets,” Casagrande said.
“We will make the case for thousands of hard-working families and businesses that JCP&L should not see one penny more from New Jersey ratepayers until it returns every dollar it pocketed for corporate greed.”