Assembly Republicans Push Bipartisan Effort To Improve Power Outage Response And Accountability To Ratepayers

Assembly Republicans Gregory McGuckin, Scott T. Rumana and Donna Simon, have prepared legislation for introduction on Monday, to help ensure the power stays on in homes and businesses when disaster strikes, sent a letter today to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee Chairman Upendra Chivukula to launch a bipartisan effort to protect ratepayers.

“Some electric companies were not prepared to keep the power on for home and businesses after last year’s terrible storms,” said Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin, R-Ocean, a member of the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. “Our plan will ensure they are better prepared to respond and communicate with customers during challenging conditions and we’re committed to work across the aisle to deliver the strongest protections for ratepayers.”

The Assembly Republicans plan to introduce the “Reliability, Preparedness and Storm Response Act of 2012” on Monday when the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee is scheduled to consider legislation on the same topic.

“Power outages affect Democrats and Republicans alike and ratepayers throughout the state deserve a thoughtful bipartisan effort that will make public utilities better prepared for disaster and make them pay the price when they’re not,” Assembly Republican Whip Scott T. Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris, said. “Our plan reflects New Jersey’s commitment to protect ratepayers and work with utilities to improve the kind of response we experienced last year. We look forward to bipartisan cooperation.”

The Assembly Republicans want ratepayer protections, such as requiring utilities to submit plans on public communications during outages after emergencies, mitigating flooding at substations and imposing severe fines up to $2 million – which cannot be passed along to ratepayers – for failing to comply.

“We need a united effort to make sure that residents no longer experience the response that occurred last year – days without power and many broken promises and inaccurate information about when their power would be turned back on,” said Assemblywoman Donna Simon, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex, a member of the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. “Although nature is unpredictable, we can improve preparedness and hold electric companies accountable to the families and businesses they serve.” TLS.

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  1. Is there anything these poloticians can do, so that NJ american water does not have monopoly on water. Our bills are so high in comparison with other cities.

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