Bill Text: NJ A4629 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires electric public utilities to prioritize service restoration to age-restricted communities after major events.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-09-14 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee [A4629 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A4629-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4629

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  P. CHRISTOPHER TULLY

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  LISA SWAIN

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JOHN ARMATO

District 2 (Atlantic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires electric public utilities to provide priority service restoration to age-restricted communities after major events.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the prioritization of electric public utility service restoration after a major event and supplementing Title 48 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

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

     "Age-restricted community" means a planned real estate development, as defined in section 3 of P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-23), consisting of dwelling units governed by a common set of rules, regulations, or restrictions intended and operated for persons 55 years of age or older.

     "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 a utility's distribution or transmission 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.     a sustained interruption of electric public utility service to at least 10 percent of the customers in an operating area or 10 percent of a utility's customers within a municipality or county located in an operating area; or

     b.    the declaration of a state of emergency or disaster by the State or by the federal government.

     "Sustained interruption" means the cessation of electric public utility service to one or more customers lasting more than 48 consecutive hours after the conclusion of a major event where the utility service cessation was caused by that major event. 

 

     2.    a.   The board shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations requiring an electric public utility to give priority, when possible, to an age-restricted community for utility service restoration after a sustained interruption following a major event, except that utility service restoration efforts to an age-restricted community shall not divert efforts to restore utility service where needed to otherwise maintain overall public safety.  The rules and regulations shall require a utility to request from every residential customer, on an annual basis, information as to whether the residential customer's address is located within an age-restricted community.  If a residential customer responds to the utility's request for that information in the affirmative, the utility shall designate that residential customer as eligible for priority utility service restoration.

     b.    The rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall allow an electric public utility to exercise its discretion to prioritize service restoration to an age-restricted community after a major event resulting in a sustained interruption in accordance with the an age-restricted community's needs and with the characteristics of the geographic area in which utility service shall be restored.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 60th day after the date of enactment, but the Board of Public Utilities may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the timely implementation of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to adopt rules and regulations requiring an electric public utility (utility) to provide priority utility service restoration, when possible, following a major event resulting in a sustained interruption of utility service to an age-restricted community.  The bill requires the BPU to allow a utility to exercise its discretion to prioritize utility service restoration to an age-restricted community after a major event resulting in a sustained interruption of utility service in accordance with the an age-restricted community's needs and the characteristics of the geographic area in which that service is to be restored.

     The bill requires a utility to request from every residential customer, on an annual basis, information as to whether the residential customer's address is located within an age-restricted community.  If a residential customer responds to the utility's request for that information in the affirmative, the utility is to designate that residential customer as eligible for priority utility service restoration.

     Any priority utility service restoration efforts to an age-restricted community is not to divert efforts to restore utility service where needed to otherwise maintain overall public safety.

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