Bill Text: NJ A1896 | 2022-2023 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires electric public utility to reimburse customers for cost of certain spoiled products resulting from service outage more than 72 hours after end of storm.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-01-11 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee [A1896 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2022-A1896-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 1896

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2022 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  P. CHRISTOPHER TULLY

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  LISA SWAIN

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman McKnight

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires electric public utility to reimburse customers for cost of certain spoiled products resulting from service outage more than 72 hours after end of storm.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning reimbursement for certain costs resulting from a sustained electric public utility service outage and supplementing Title 48 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.   Beginning 90 days after the effective date of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), an electric public utility shall reimburse a residential customer who experienced a sustained interruption for the full cost of spoiled food or prescription medicine, or both, due to the lack of refrigeration during the sustained interruption, upon filing a claim for the loss in a form and manner established by the board.  A residential customer shall provide to the utility an itemized list of the spoiled food or prescription medicine and proof of loss that shall include a copy of a cash register tape receipt, store or credit card receipt, cancelled check, or photograph of a spoiled food item or prescription medicine. For prescription medicine, the residential customer shall provide to the utility a copy of a pharmacy prescription label or pharmacy receipt identifying the medicine.

     b.    Beginning 90 days after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), an electric public utility shall reimburse a business customer who experienced a sustained interruption for the full cost of spoiled perishable commercial products, due to the lack of refrigeration during the sustained interruption, upon filing a claim for the loss in a form and manner established by the board. A business customer shall provide to the utility an itemized list of the spoiled perishable commercial products and proof of loss that shall include a copy of a purchase invoice, cash register tape receipt, store or credit card receipt, cancelled check, or photograph of spoiled perishable commercial products.

     c.     No later than 90 days after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), each electric public utility in the State shall develop and implement a system for customers of the utility to apply for a reimbursement online via the utility's Internet website.  Applications for a reimbursement shall be made in a form and manner as determined by the board. 

     d.    The board shall, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this section.                  

     e.     As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Board" means the Board of Public Utilities or any successor agency.

     "Electric public utility" or "utility" means a public utility, as that term is defined in R.S.48:2-13, that provides electric distribution service in this State.

     "Major event" means an occurrence arising from conditions beyond the control of an electric public utility that affect the operation of an electric public utility's distribution system, including, but not limited to, a thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, flood, heat wave, snow storm, ice storm, earthquake, terrorist attack, or any other condition that the board determines, which results in a sustained interruption of utility service.

     "Sustained interruption" means the cessation of electric public utility service to one or more customers lasting more than 72 consecutive hours after the conclusion of a major event where the electric public utility service cessation was caused by that major event.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires an electric public utility (utility) to reimburse its customers who experienced a "sustained interruption" caused by a "major event," as those terms are defined in the bill, for the actual cost of spoiled food, prescription medicine, or perishable commercial products, due to the lack of refrigeration during the sustained interruption, upon filing a claim for the loss in a form and manner established by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).  Under the bill, a residential customer that experiences a sustained interruption may be reimbursed for the actual cost of spoiled food or prescription medicine under conditions stated in the bill.  Further, a business customer that experiences the same sustained interruption may be reimbursed for the actual cost of spoiled perishable commercial products under conditions stated in the bill.

     No later than 90 days after the effective date of the bill, each utility in the State is required to develop and implement a system for customers of the utility to apply for a reimbursement online via the utility's Internet website. Applications for a reimbursement is to be made in a form and manner as determined by the BPU.

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