$45 Million Distribution Rate Adjustment to Increase Atlantic City Electric Customer Bills
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities recently authorized a distribution rate adjustment of $45 million for expenditures Atlantic City Electric has paid for upgrades and maintenance for a more dependable electric grid for its customers. This means monthly electric bills will increase immediately by 3.89 percent over existing rates.
“In order to further improve our electric system and continue providing quality service, it’s important that we build smarter energy infrastructure and upgrade our existing electrical systems,” said Vince Maione, Atlantic City Electric region president. “The distribution rate adjustment will help enable us to continue our ongoing reliability improvement programs to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations and will reimburse the company for monies already spent in achieving these goals.”
Under the new rates, a typical bill for a residential customer using 750 kilowatt hours per month will increase $5.33, or from $135.88 to $141.21 per month. A usual statement for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month will increase by $7.05, or from $181.20 to $188.25 per month.
Distribution rates include the cost of supplying power, not the cost of the actual power. Customers who purchase energy from a competitive provider continue to obtain distribution service from ACE, so they will also be impacted by the rate adjustment, Maione noted. The new total monthly bill for customers who shop for their energy will fluctuate according to the price the customer’s provider charges, he explained.
The filing also consists of an economic development discount rider, a pilot program to help encourage new and incremental business growth in South Jersey. Businesses that meet the requirements will obtain a 20 percent monthly bill credit for five years on the distribution part of their bill.
ACE initially filed for a distribution rate adjustment of $78.9 million in March, and the request was later updated to $79.4 million to incorporate real costs through December 2015.
During the past five years the electric company has spent around $716 million in energy system upgrades, which has benefited customers. In 2015, customers had 41 percent fewer outages and, when outages did happen, service was reinstated about 25 percent quicker compared to 2011, according to Maione.
The company will continue to make infrastructure improvements for ongoing service reliability by constructing new infrastructure and substations and advancing infrastructure by updating transformers, poles, wires and other enhancements. —K.A.E.