NUCA NJ recently submitted a letter to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities urging the body to continue to allow construction projects to move forward. In response to BPU soliciting comments on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJ Division of the Rate Counsel - whose mission is to ensure that utility consumers receive affordable rates - argued for a moratorium on rate cases and infrastructure filings. This means that utility companies would not be able to move forward on new infrastructure construction projects nor have the ability to seek reimbursement from ratepayers on previous outlays for the duration of the moratorium.
During these unprecedented times and the economic challenges that have resulted, it is critical now more than ever that our State continue to protect and expand job opportunities, ensure reliable utility service for all New Jerseyans, and increase security through improved infrastructure. Halting the ability to repair and expand utility service, and the ability for utility companies to seek reimbursement for the money spent on badly needed infrastructure investments, is counterintuitive. Considering such action would also run afoul of the Murphy Administration’s clearly stated goals and policies. The State must create jobs, not kill them. It must also do everything to help our contractors and associates, not put them out of business.
NUCA NJ, therefore, strongly supported the continuation of rate cases and infrastructure filings and opposed this dangerous and counterproductive suggestion offered by Rate Counsel.