LANDING, N.J. – Atlantic City Electric (ACE) today asked the New Jersey Board of Public
Utilities (BPU) to authorize a base rate adjustment of approximately $78.9
million to help pay for reliability investments and continued infrastructure
improvements to help sustain a more reliable electric grid for its customers.
company will also seek approval of its grid resiliency plan, PowerAhead. If
approved, the company plans to invest $176 million in its system over five
years to further strengthen and modernize the electric system making it more
resilient to storms like Hurricane Sandy, the Derecho and the Bow Echo event that
have been occurring more frequently in the area.
base rate adjustment and the grid resiliency plan are subject to the review and
approval of the BPU.
If the rate adjustment is approved as requested, residential
customers using between 500 and 1,000 kilowatt hours per month would see a
total monthly bill increase ranging from $6.81 to $11.73. It has been two years since Atlantic City
Electric requested a rate adjustment.
“In order to further improve our electric system and continue
providing quality service, it’s important that we invest in new infrastructure
and upgrade our existing electrical systems,” said Vince Maione, Atlantic City
Electric region president. “We are pleased to announce our grid resiliency
plan, PowerAhead, that will not only harden the electric grid and make it more
resistant to severe storms, it will help create jobs and strengthen the economy,” Maione added.
Through its Reliability Improvement Plan and other electric
distribution system investments, over the past five years, ACE
has invested approximately $716 million into its electric system. Customers are
seeing the benefits of this work. During 2015, ACE achieved its best
reliability performance in more than a decade. Customers experienced 41 percent
fewer outages and, when outages did occur, service was restored about 25
percent faster compared to 2011.
Since 2011, ACE has
performed reliability upgrades and system improvements on about 210 electric circuits. These are higher voltage lines that
distribute electricity to customers. ACE
has also upgraded hundreds of miles of wire, replaced hundreds of poles, and
installed automated switching technology on dozens of electric circuits designed
to isolate outages and restore power to customers quicker. In addition, the
company has upgraded
substations with new equipment, circuit breakers and
transformers, and built two new substations in Franklin Township, Gloucester
County and the City of Port Republic, Atlantic County.
ACE has implemented a comprehensive
vegetation management plan and has adhered to all requirements set forth by the
NJ BPU. The company has spent more than $40 million over the last three years
on tree trimming and associated vegetation management work along nearly 5,200
miles of power lines to help prevent outages.
planned projects include selective undergrounding of existing distribution
circuits; constructing system ties to the barrier islands from the mainland;
increased storm and flood prevention of substations and other equipment along
the barrier islands; and increased system automation and remote control for faster
and safer restoration. PowerAhead will not only enhance and modernize the
electric grid, it will create jobs that will help revive the sluggish economy
in the southern New Jersey region.
In addition, it is important to note that ACE’s rate application
does not include the benefits that will be provided by the pending merger with
Exelon, which would include cost savings as a result of greater efficiencies from
the merged company. The merger is currently being reviewed by the District of
Columbia regulators, having already received sign off from government
authorities in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and at the Federal level. If
the District of Columbia Public Service Commission does not approve the merger,
the hundreds of millions of dollars of benefits, enhanced reliability and other
commitments that the merger offers to New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the
District of Columbia, will not be realized for ACE’s 547,000 customers, as well
as the almost 1.5 million electric and gas distribution customers served by the PHI family of companies.
cover the cost of delivering power, not the cost of the power itself. Customers
who buy energy from a competitive supplier continue to receive distribution
service from ACE so they also will be affected by this requested rate
adjustment. The new total monthly bill for customers who shop for their energy
will vary according to the price charged by the customer’s supplier.
Customers with questions regarding billing or the rate adjustment
can contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-642-3780.
For information about energy
assistance programs, customers can visit www.nj211.org or call 211,
Jersey’s non-emergency helpline, available 24/7 throughout the state.
For more information about ACE, visit www.atlanticcityelectric.com.
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