As Utility Auditors, we see this kind of outrageous over-billing often. $115 million, in this instance, will be refunded thanks to rarely seen sanctions against this type of behavior.
If you believe your business or investment property has been overbilled – on any utilities – do not hesitate to contact a Professional Utility Auditor – Immediately. Applied Utility Auditors offers no – risk services. We only get paid if you get a refund. Don’t get over your head in overhead.
Call Paul Today: 877 208 0021
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
JCP&L rates to drop slightly after ruling
March 18, 2015 Last updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:29 PM
By DAVE SHEINGOLD
Staff Writer |
Electricity users in six Passaic County communities and all of Morris County will see their rates drop slightly in the next few months following a ruling Wednesday by state regulators that sanctioned Jersey Central Power & Light for overbilling customers, but also let the company recoup money spent repairing damage from major storms.
In a unanimous vote at a meeting in Trenton, the Board of Public Utilities ordered JCP&L to refund $115 million to customers through the rate reduction, mostly to cover overcharges for power grid maintenance throughout its northern and central New Jersey territory from 2008 to 2011.
But the board also ordered that ratepayers pay for $736 million JCP&L spent restoring power following Superstorm Sandy and other bouts of severe weather since then that caused blackouts of up to two weeks.
The net result of formulas that parcel out those expenses over varying periods of time will be a $34 million cut in the company’s annual revenue and a drop of 1.2 percent, or $1.68, in its average residential monthly bill, according to the board. The exact month when bills will drop has not been set, but should come this spring, said BPU spokesman Greg Reinert.
JCP&L’s 1.1 million customers include 15,400 in six Passaic County municipalities – Wayne, West Milford, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes, Bloomingdale and Ringwood – and 197,000 in Morris County.
“Today’s order ensures that JCP&L is providing safe and proper service at just and reasonable rates, while also securing and being mindful of the company’s financial integrity,” said BPU President Richard Mroz.
The decision represents a middle-ground between a $207.5 million revenue reduction sought by a state consumer advocacy office and a request by JCP&L for a rate hike to cover increased expenses and storm-related costs.
In January, a state administrative law judge largely sided with claims by the office, known as the Division of Rate Counsel, that JCP&L used complex accounting techniques to return too much profit to its parent company, FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, OH. The judge said the issue of storm costs should be addressed in a separate proceeding.
The BPU, however, combined both matters into one.
The ruling was criticized by Stefanie Brand, director of the Rate Counsel’s office, for rejecting the office’s request for retroactive rate cuts and postponement of storm-cost repayment.
“I’m disappointed,” she said. “It’s still a reduction. But I think they should have taken into account the fact that ratepayers had been paying too much for a number of years. They could have phased this in.” She declined to say if the order would be appealed.
Ronald Morano, a spokesman for JCP&L, said the company would review the order before commenting, but noted that it planned $254 million in improvements this year. Those include new circuits, upgraded utility poles, flood-proofing around power transfer stations and tree-trimming around power lines. The latter effort is aimed at a key problem in the company’s largely suburban and rural territory.
Wednesday’s ruling ends an unusually long-running case involving claims that disputed, in highly arcane terms, the write-offs, equipment depreciation and other accounting techniques used to set rates that generate JCP&L’s revenues. A key issue was whether JCP&L collected too much to cover its federal taxes and then used that money to offset taxes owed by other FirstEnergy subsidiaries.
Brand’s office also accused the company of improperly cutting costs, especially on grid maintenance and tree-trimming. JCP&L responded with a case of its own, seeking rate hikes.
“Confused by the cloud? You are not alone,” was written by Kirill Bensonoff in December of 2013, and while some of the specific stats may be out of date, the information contained is still relevant today:
Everyone seems quick to throw the word “cloud” around like it’s this decade’s biggest buzzword.
As a concept, the cloud can actually be traced back to the 1950s, when multiple terminals were first connected to one main computer to make more efficient use of expensive mainframes. As technology evolved, scientists naturally turned toward methods of connecting multiple users to one single server located offsite.
In Citrix’s study, 54 percent of respondents stated they hardly ever use cloud computing. Ninety-five percent of those respondents were wrong. Consumers use cloud computing every day to check web-based e-mail, conduct online banking activities, store photos and music, and more. The social media sites frequented by 72 percent of all online adults also count as cloud computing, since users connect to servers located far away to communicate with loved ones and share photos.
A cloud is a remote server, located in a data canter owned by a company. Rather than connecting a server in his or her own home or workplace, consumers use the internet to log into one of these faraway sites. For instance, a user’s web-based e-mail is stored on Google’s servers or Microsoft’s servers, secured with a password known only to the user.
Some cloud services charge a subscription rate to store files, media, and even an organization’s entire network infrastructure. For a small monthly fee, a business can pay some other company to take care of all of its files and apps. Each worker in that business can connect to that server from any internet-connected device, accessing all of those files and apps from home, from the road, or while in the office.
Workplace of the Future
The cloud has opened up big possibilities for the future of the workplace. Citrix’s study found that 59 percent of those surveyed feel that the workplace of the future will be housed 100 percent in the cloud. This is convenient for the 40 percent of respondents who stated that being able to access work at home while wearing nothing but their “birthday suit” is the cloud’s biggest advantage.
With the cloud playing such a big part in the future of corporate America, it’s no surprise that many Americans pretend they know what cloud computing is. More than one-fifth of Americans have pretended to understand how the cloud works, while 14 percent have pretended for the sake of a job interview. Consumers are even acting as though they understand the cloud in their personal lives–17 percent of respondents admitted to having lied about knowing how the cloud works while on a date.
Gradually, cloud technology is changing the way we shop, play, and even work. Its important consumers fully understand this game changes the way they dress for work every day.