EPSA Again Urges NJ Utility Regulators to Choose Cost-Effective, Competitive Path to Reduce Emissions
Washington, D.C. – A policy proposed to New Jersey regulators could raise electricity bills and hinder the state’s ambitious clean energy goals, while giving outsized control to powerful utilities. In comments filed today with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) pointed to input from a diverse range of power providers, renewable and offshore wind developers, consumer watchdogs, policy analysts and environmental advocates as it again urged state leaders to avoid a path called the Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR).
“We again warn that the FRR would raise New Jersey’s power bills at a time when the state budget and residents can least afford it,” said EPSA President and CEO Todd Snitchler. “By concentrating market power, FRR hands control to a small number of electricity providers at ratepayers’ expense—rather than asking companies to compete to provide the best, most cost-effective solutions to achieve meaningful emissions reductions. EPSA and our members look forward to working with the state to find ways to responsibly meet its goals while preserving the measurable benefits competition provides to consumers and the grid.”
In its comments filed today, EPSA said “Pursuing an FRR would create new reliability challenges, reduce competition, and inhibit, not advance, the achievement of New Jersey’s goals, all while putting the risk of poor investments on the backs of New Jersey consumers.”
In a blog post published Tuesday, Snitchler expanded on challenges associated with the FRR, noting that it could uniquely benefit and raise revenues for utility interests Public Service Electric & Gas (PSEG) and Exelon—at the expense of consumers, businesses and renewable development. EPSA reiterated this concern in its comments, saying “FRR would further entrench and enrich PSEG and Exelon at the expense of the states’ ratepayers… vest[ing] additional power in these companies, dry[ing] up competitive opportunities in the state and further[ing] the creeping return to monopolistic practices that PSEG and Exelon now seem to favor.”
Instead, EPSA said, New Jersey should choose competitive, market-based alternatives to reduce power sector emissions, offering several potential solutions including carbon pricing.
The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) is the national trade association representing America’s competitive power suppliers. EPSA members provide more than 150,000 MW of reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities using a diverse mix of fuels and technologies including natural gas, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, storage, biomass, and coal. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers.Learn more at www.epsa.org and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter @EPSAnews.