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JCP&L Explains Need for Rate Hike Request [AUDIO]

Superstorm Sandy did a number on Jersey Central Power & Light. Now, the utility is turning to you, the customer, for some financial help.

Power Lines
Allison Shelley, Getty Images

The company has filed a rate increase request with the Board of Public Utilities for costs associated with the October storm.

Thousands were without power for days and weeks, and much of their infrastructure was left in shambles due to high winds, heavy rain and flooding.

JCP&L Spokesman Ron Morano said the 4.5 percent more would go towards the whopping $630 million in repairs they already paid for.

“This storm was unprecedented. No one could ever imagine or see something like this coming. The increase turns out to be about $53 more a year. The hike will be offset by a 3 percent decrease in generation service costs after a recent BPU electricity auction,” said Morano.

While the company looks to the hike, some are angered by the plan which would send bills up just under $5 more a month. Officials and customers have criticized the utility’s response to the storm and slow restoration.

Morano defended the process. “We did the best we could under the dire circumstances. It was something we all felt for a while. It didn’t just strain the pocket book. The magnitude forced us to do repairs to virtually our entire structure.”

Morano said costs during Sandy included cutting and clearing 65,000 trees, repairing substations, and replacing 6,700 utility poles, 19,200 cross-arms, 3,600 transformers and 400 miles of wire.

The BPU would first have to approve the increase before anything happens. The totals do include the 1.5 percent increase requested back in November.

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