Borough Council Blasts PSE&G Over Proposed Rate Hike
Utility is requesting a rate increase on customers to help pay for its controversial solar program.
The Borough of Glen Rock has formally opposed a PSE&G plan to have residential customers subsidize its controversial solar energy initiative, claiming residents are being stuck paying a loan that benefits the utility's business customers.
The state's largest provider of gas and electric has filed a petition with the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) requesting an increase to the PSE&G Electric and Gas RGGI Recovery Charges to fund the Solar Generation Investment Program, known best as the "Solar 4 All" program.
But the utility company is meeting opposition from municipalities already bitter over PSE&G hoisting up solar panels in 2011, panels Glen Rock – and many others – found "unsightly and cumbersome" and erected with little-to-no notice to the municipality or input from residents.
PSE&G maintains Solar 4 All – which features thousands of solar panels affixed to utility poles throughout New Jersey – increases use of green energy to replace more damaging fossil fuels.
"Every one of the panels placed in service generates value from the sale of its electricity and capacity into the wholesale electric grid, the solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) that it generates and the federal investment tax credits PSE&G attracts," PSE&G says on its website. "PSE&G monetizes this value and the dollars are returned to customers which helps offset the cost of the program."
The borough council on Wednesday passed a resolution blasting the utility company's request as "abohorrent," claiming it asks residents to pay for a program that finances a "loan program for its business customers."
"The Borough of Glen Rock finds it disingenuous that now PSE&G will raise the rates of its residents to subsidize the cost of installing those same solar panels that are supposed to, by their own admission, bring monetized value to their customers," the resolution reads.
The vote passed 6-1, with Councilman Art Pazan opposed. The resolution was sent to the BPU, Governor Christie, Assembly members Joan Voss and Connie Wagner, as well as State Senator Bob Gordon.
The BPU is expected to hear the matter in the fall.
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