Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari is calling on the state Board of Public Utilities to order a three-year freeze on all utility rates throughout the state in an effort to assist residents and businesses still trying to pick up the pieces following Superstorm Sandy.
“Our home and business owners deserve a break from utility companies that constantly seek to suck more money out of their ratepayers pockets,” Vicari said.
Vicari also renewed his call for an Ocean County representative on the powerful five-member state panel.
The Freeholder penned a letter to state BPU President Robert Hanna asking that the panel deny any rate increase requests until 2016.
“As Freeholder Liaison to both the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs and the Office of Senior Services, I have witnessed the difficulties our residents are facing in Sandy’s aftermath,” Vicari said in the letter. “Now is not the time for utility companies to demand more money from their already suffering ratepayers. Families are digging deep into their pockets just to repair or rebuild their homes. They should not have to worry about rising water, gas, electric or cable television rates.”
The BPU’s action would also send a strong message to property owners still struggling to rebuild, he said.
“A rate freeze would also have a strong impact on the morale of residents and show the BPU’s support of our stricken home and business owners,” Vicari said. “All levels of government are working hard to rebuild New Jersey and I invite you to join in this effort. An across-the board rate freeze would send a clear message that the BPU stands hand-in-hand with our residents and is ready to help rebuild our communities.”
Vicari also repeated his call for Gov. Chris Christie to appoint an Ocean County resident to the BPU.
“Our shore communities have long suffered from prolonged power outages and other problems in the wake of hurricanes and other coastal storms,” he said. “Ocean County is also home to more senior citizens than any other county who suffer the most from continued rate increases. We need a representative who understands the special problems our residents face and can address those issues.” TLS.
Let the money JCP&L needs for repairs and up keep come from the stock holders and pay freezes of the managers, they profit from the good times let pay for the bad times!!!!
Blah blah political noise. Utilities are an open market you if you’re not happy with the price your getting, switch suppliers.
The only exception i see to this is places where there are no alternatives. (NJ American Water anybody?)
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