Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to request a change in distribution base rates.
JCP&L's filing is to comply with a BPU order issued earlier this year for the company to file a base rate case, detailing its spending on operations, maintenance and capital investment.
The filing also includes the costs associated with restoring power to customers after Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm in 2011. The filing will be amended later to include the restoration costs for Hurricane Sandy, once the costs are fully accounted.
If approved, the $31 million rate request would result in about a 1.4 percent overall rate increase for an average JCP&L residential customer. While the effect on customers' bills would depend on their specific residential or general service rate and actual monthly use, the proposed rate request would increase the bill for a JCP&L residential customer using 650 kWh of electricity per month by $1.51.
The filing proposes cost recovery for accelerated reliability-related capital investments, including system hardening and resiliency projects collectively identified by the BPU staff and JCP&L.
Eligible projects also could include: technology designed to improve storm response; smart grid technology pilot projects; and targeted right-of-way improvements for the distribution system.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
FirstEnergy's 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 MW of capacity from a mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables.