AKRON, Ohio, May 26, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) announced that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) approved a stipulated settlement agreement with the NJBPU staff and the Division of Ratepayer Advocate resolving the company’s Phase II rate case filing, and a second stipulated settlement agreement with the NJBPU staff resolving the motion for reconsideration of the 2003 decision in its Phase I rate proceeding.
Together, the two stipulated settlements would result in a net average increase, effective June 1, of approximately $1.14 per month in the delivery portion of the bill for residential customers using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The increase, averaging 2.4 percent for all customers, is JCP&L’s first since 1993, and follows an 11-percent decrease implemented between 1999 and 2003 under New Jersey’s Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA).
The stipulated settlements, which will increase JCP&L’s annual revenues by $51.1 million, include a commitment by JCP&L to maintain a target level of customer service reliability.
In August 2002, JCP&L filed its Phase I case with NJBPU for proposed rates following the expiration of rate caps. The filing, made under provisions of EDECA, included a request for a base rate increase and recovery of deferred costs primarily associated with mandated purchased-power contracts – including those with non-utility generators – to supply basic generation service during the transition to competition.
In July of 2003, the NJBPU issued a decision that reduced base rates by $222 million or an additional 11 percent, and disallowed recovery of $152.5 million of deferred costs. JCP&L filed a motion for reconsideration, which was heard by the NJBPU last year.
On July 16, 2004, JCP&L filed its Phase II request to recover the costs of certain new investments and programs designed to increase reliability, and to increase the authorized return on common equity from 9.5 percent to 9.75 percent.
Supplemental information is included in a May 25, 2005, letter addressed to the investment community, which is posted on the Investor Information section of FirstEnergy’s Web site, www.firstenergycorp.com/ir.
JCP&L, a subsidiary of Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) , provides electric service to one million customers in 13 New Jersey counties including Sussex, Warren and Morris.