Atlantic City Electric rate hike not as high as feared

2017-09-23 | Asbury Park Press

Sept. 22--Atlantic City Electric customers will see their bills jump on Oct. 1, but not as much as the utility wanted.

The state Board of Public Utilities on Friday approved a settlement with Atlantic City Electric to allow the utility to collect $43 million more in revenue to recover the cost of its infrastructure improvements.

It means that bill will rise by 4.03 percent beginning Oct. 1. The total monthly bill for a typical residential customer using about 716 kilowatt will rise from $136.90 to $142.42, up $5.52.

Atlantic City Electric serves more than 550,000 customers in southern New Jersey, including southern Ocean County.

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In March, the utility asked for a 6.6 percent increase in its base rate, which covers the utility's delivery, which would have hiked the typical monthly bill by $9.

In 2016, Atlantic City Electric said it built a new distribution substation in Cape May County and replaced hundreds of utility poles throughout its service territory. It finished nearly 30 substation enhancement projects, including new transformers, switch gear and other equipment. The company also spent nearly $25 million on tree trimming and vegetation management along more than 1,900 miles of distribution power lines, which helps prevent power outages.

As a result, reliability has improved, the company said. In 2016, customers experienced 33 percent fewer outages and the average time customers were without power has declined 35 percent compared to 201, the utility said.

""Our employees work hard every day, investing in our systems and enhancing our processes all to meet the needs of our customers," said Vince Maione, Atlantic City Electric region president. "We are investing in smarter, more modern equipment that is providing our customers with better and faster service."

David P. Willis: 732-643-4039; dwillis@gannettnj.com; facebook.com/dpwillis732