By: Renew Grid |
In an effort to offset Hurricane Sandy repair costs, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) says it has identified $2.6 billion in projects for funding from the New Jersey Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. As proposed, a majority of the CDBG funds would be targeted for a comprehensive storm hardening program that the utility says can have a positive impact on future reliability and deployment of smart grid technologies.
According to JCP&L, which serves approximately 1.1 million customers, the remainder of the grant funding could be used to offset the costs related to JCP&L’s Hurricane Sandy service restoration effort. If approved for this purpose, the CDBG grants would be used to help reduce JCP&L customers’ electric bills.
This announcement coincides with JCP&L’s recent rate request filing to recover costs associated with rebuilding the electrical infrastructure in northern and central New Jersey following Sandy and heavy snow from a nor’easter in 2012.
Of the approximately $630 million the utility spent on Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L’s request seeks to recover about $345 million for capital expenditures incurred while restoring service to customers and approximately $258 million in non-capital costs that have been deferred. The company is proposing to recover these deferred costs through its base rates over a six-year period, beginning at the conclusion of the rate case now under way.
If approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, JCP&L’s rate filing, which would include the Hurricane Sandy restoration costs and the previously submitted rate request, would result in about a 4.5% overall rate increase for an average JCP&L residential customer using 650 kWh of electricity.