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Seeking additional oversight of utilities

A recent AARP survey showed that a majority of those New Jersey residents who responded indicated that they want strong oversight when it comes to utilities, and that the Board of Public Utilities should thoroughly scrutinize any rate increase requests to ensure the seventh-highest utility rates in the nation do not go any higher without good reason.

Back in March, in response to rate increase proposals submitted by the state's utility providers, the BPU ordered utility companies to file a detailed request for storm related damages, and stated that they may not be eligible to pass on these costs to customers if they did not do enough to prevent the damages.

I applaud the Board of Public Utilities for requiring utilities to prove they were without fault for their losses, and to protect customers from paying for the utilities' mistakes.

Utility companies must do what they can to mitigate losses before the situation becomes dire. Failure to do so, whether the result of carelessness or cashing out, should not be rewarded with rate increases on the backs of the already overburdened residents.

Sarah Devery
Volunteer, AARP New Jersey,
West Windsor

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