Stockton, NJ, (April 19, 2016) – Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation, issued the following statement about New Jersey Natural Gas’ (NJNG) proposed rate hike that is the subject of a public hearing tonight in Rockaway Township:
“NJNG has requested a 24% rate hike that would require consumers to pay for the planned Southern Reliability Link (SRL) pipeline that experts have determined is not needed. The pipeline has not yet been approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The only winner in this scenario is NJNG, which would gain a $9.179 million annual increase in net income, while consumers pick up the tab.
The rate increase tied directly to building the SRL pipeline is 4.1%. In addition, the cost of the closely-linked Garden State Expansion pipeline project would result in a further rate increase of 2.75%, for which NJNG would seek future approval.
Consumers should hold on to their wallets, because eventually gas companies including NJNG, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas will ask New Jerseyans to pay for the proposed PennEast pipeline if approved.
This is a clear case of buyer beware. When gas companies say that their new pipelines will lower your prices, the rate hikes will be at your heels.”