Utilities board president must address issues

A ARP welcomes new Board of Public Utilities (BPU) President Richard Mroz and looks forward to working with him on key utility and telecommunications issues that affect all New Jerseyans, including our 50-plus residents.

We call on President Mroz to quickly address two critically important issues. The resolutions for each are long overdue.

It has been three years since the beginning of the current JCP&L case, and over that time, the board has received evidence that the company has earned more than $200 million more than it is entitled to by law. Still, customers have not seen rate decreases to try to make things right. Meanwhile, JCP&L is asking for another rate increase.

And the BPU also must address the unsettling situation surrounding our copper landline telephone system. A new AARP public opinion poll of New Jersey residents 50-plus in age shows that over 90 percent of respondents still rely on their copper landline.

Yet the BPU has ignored calls to step in while those landlines are not being maintained, not being restored where needed and, in some cases, are being replaced by inferior, unregulated technology that does not fulfill these providers’ legal obligations to provide affordable, reliable phone service.

We hope President Mroz will address these critical issues soon; each day we wait, New Jersey residents are being hurt.

Jeff Abramo
Communications Director
AARP New Jersey