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JCP&L gets $80M rate increase in New Jersey, far less than sought

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a settlement in Jersey Central Power & Light Co.'s base rate case, authorizing the company an $80 million, or 3.6%, rate increase, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

The approved increase is far less than the FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary's originally requested rate hike of $142.1 million, or 8.55%, in April. That request was premised upon a return on equity of 11.2% and a rate of return of 8.69%.

Parties to the settlement included the BPU staff, New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, Gerdau Steel, the U.S. Department of Defense and New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition. "The settlement will help the company recover costs of investments in service-related enhancement projects that have been completed since mid-2012," JCP&L said in a Dec. 12 statement.

The utility will use the approved increase to continue tree trimming, to inspect transmission lines, poles and substations, and to maintain newly installed equipment aimed at enhancing service reliability.

An average residential customer using 768 kWh of electricity will see an increase of $3.98 per month.