“We fought against the massive 24 percent rate hike NJNG had proposed, and we succeeded in reducing the increase to a reasonable amount that will be more affordable to residents,” said Holzapfel. “While nobody likes their bills going up, an extra $7 a month is much more palatable than the $22 monthly increase NJNG had initially proposed.”
Holzapfel, Wolfe and McGuckin had publicly opposed the initial proposal, citing the severe financial impact it would have on seniors and those living on limited incomes.
“We have a number of large senior communities in Brick, Toms River and Manchester that are home to many thousands of fixed-income retirees,” said Wolfe. “A large bump in their monthly bills would almost certainly hurt their finances and quality of life. I’m glad the BPU and NJNG listened to our concerns and worked out a more affordable alternative.”
According to published reports, the rate increase would be NJNG’s first since 2007, and the company has indicated that the increase would be offset for customers by declining wholesale natural gas prices.
“We’re hopeful that NJNG is right that continued declines in the cost of natural gas will offset this rate increase for customers leaving their gas bills largely unchanged this winter,” added McGuckin. “Regardless, we expect NJNG to put the new revenues they generate through this rate increase to good use to improve the reliability of our residents’ gas service and better protect their distribution system.”