The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has issued its final master plan on electric restructuring, which could cut electric rates by 10 to 15 percent starting October 1998. The plan allows all customers to choose electric suppliers by July 2000.
The board now will submit "Restructuring the Electric Power Industry in New Jersey: Findings and Recommendations" to the governor and Legislature.
The plan would phase in retail choice, beginning with 10 percent of all residential, commercial and industrial customers, in October 1998. An additional 5 percent of
customers who choose to purchase power in bulk, such as municipal or state and county agencies, also would be phased in then. The BPU predicted that over the next several years, rates would be cut by 10 to 15 percent, due to a combination of cuts and proposed reductions in the state's energy tax. The BPU has proposed that customers have the choice of buying electricity either from the power pool through the local utility or directly from another supplier.
Stranded costs would be addressed case by case. Utilities are ordered to mitigate such costs when possible. The BPU plans to conduct a 12- to 15-month proceeding to quantify stranded costs for each of the state's electric utilities. The BPU will consider allowing securitization and will propose a stranded cost cap.
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