New Jersey's largest utility says it has reached a $1.2 settlement to protect and strengthen its electric and gas systems from storms.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Public Service Electric & Gas had sought approval to invest $2.6 billion during five years to harden its systems, with the option to spend $3.9 billion over ten years.

PSEG chairman and CEP Ralph Izzo, in a statement, says the settlement Board of Public utilities' staff members will allow the utility to upgrade substations that were flooded in Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. Izzo also says the utility can replace 250 miles of cast iron gas pipes and use technology to help speed power restoration.

Senior citizens groups voiced concerns about the costs.

The settlement will be reviewed before it's submitted to the BPU for final approval.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)