In New Jersey, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) regulates natural gas, electricity, water, telecommunications, and cable television services of the state. The NJBPU is a regulatory authority charged with the responsibility of ensuring safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates to customers in New Jersey. The NJBPU also addresses the issues of consumer protection, energy reform, deregulation of energy and telecommunications services, the restructuring of utility rates to encourage energy conservation, and competitive pricing in the industry. In addition, the NJBPU monitors the utility service and responds to consumer complaints.
Basically, the NJBPU’s Division of Energy is responsible for traditional regulatory responsibilities associated with the natural gas and electric industries. It was with the enactment of the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act of 1999 that the division’s responsibilities were increased to control full electric and natural gas retail competition in New Jersey.
The division’s Bureau of Revenue Requirements performs all traditional rate-related functions associated with determining revenue requirements, setting rates, reviewing tariffs, and addressing tax issues.
Likewise, the division’s Bureau of Rates and Tariffs performs the key functions related with cost of service studies, alternate plans of regulation, rate and tariff design, unbundling of tariffs, mergers and acquisitions, stranded costs, competitive services, appliance service offerings, and affiliate relations. Further, the Bureau of Rates and Tariffs also addresses the major changes in the electric and gas industries, mergers, ongoing review of unbundled rates, deferred balances for electric utilities, and cost of service studies for energy utilities.
In addition, the division’s Bureau of Market Development and System Reliability (Bureau) manages issues related to industry restructuring, policy designing, EDECA-mandated energy standards development, environmental disclosure requirements, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PJM Interconnection, and regional transmission matters. The Bureau also regulates basic gas supply service, customer account services, and the monitoring of customers changing energy suppliers. Another major role of the Bureau is to integrate the efforts of working groups to facilitate utility transition to open competition.