Bill Text: NJ A5063 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires electric public utility to install and operate smart meter infrastructure and technology at certain customers' premises; provides employment protections for certain electric public utility employees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-12-07 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee [A5063 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A5063-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 5063

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 7, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires electric public utility to install and operate smart meter infrastructure and technology at certain customers' premises; provides employment protections for certain electric public utility employees.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning certain electric public utility meter infrastructure and technology and employment protections 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):

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

     "Customer" means any person that is an end user and is connected to any part of the transmission and distribution system within an electric public utility's service territory within this State.

     "Electric power supplier" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-51).

     "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 to customers in this State.

     "Electric related service" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-51).

     "Smart meter" means an electric metering device that employs smart meter technology to measure and record electricity usage data to both an electric public utility and a customer for billing and other purposes.  "Smart meter" shall include a basic hourly interval meter, a meter with one-way communication, and a real-time meter with built-in two-way communication capable of recording and transmitting instantaneous electric usage data.

     "Smart meter infrastructure" means a system consisting of the following components including, but not limited to:

     a.     a smart meter at the customer's premises;

     b.    a communications network between the smart meter and the electric public utility and electric power supplier serving the customer; and

     c.     a smart meter data management application at the premises of the electric public utility and electric power supplier.

     "Smart meter technology" means technology, including metering technology and network communications technology capable of bidirectional communication between a customer and an electric public utility and electric power supplier serving the customer, that records electricity usage on at least an hourly basis, including related electric distribution system upgrades to enable the technology.  "Smart meter technology" shall include technology that provides utility customers with direct access to, and use of, electricity price and consumption information.  "Smart meter technology" shall also include technology that:

     a.     directly provides utility customers with information on their hourly electricity usage;

     b.    enables time-of-use electric rates and real-time price plans;

     c.     effectively supports the automatic control of the customer's electricity consumption by one or more of the following, as selected by the customer:

     (1)   the customer;

     (2)  the customer's utility; or

     (3)   a third party engaged by the customer or the customer's utility.

 

     2.    a. Within 90 days after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), an electric public utility shall submit to the Board of Public Utilities, in a form and manner determined by the board, a proposed plan for the procurement and installation of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology.  The board shall approve or modify a proposed smart meter plan within 180 days of plan submittal.  A proposed smart meter plan shall describe the smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology the utility intends to furnish and shall require the utility to furnish smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology, as follows:

     (1)   upon a request from a customer that agrees to pay the cost of the smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology at the time of the request; or

     (2)   in new building construction.

     b.    A plan filed with the board, pursuant to subsection a. of this section, shall include a provision that an electric public utility shall make available, with customer consent, direct smart meter access and electronic access to customer smart meter data to third parties, including electric power suppliers and providers of an electric-related service.

 

     3.    Within 24 months after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), an electric public utility shall submit to the board one or more proposed time-of-use electric rates and real-time price plans for customers provided with smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology.  The board shall approve or modify the time-of-use rates and real-time price plan within 180 days of plan submittal.  A utility shall offer the time-of-use rates and real-time price plan to all customers that have been provided with smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  A residential or commercial customer may elect to participate in a time-of-use rates or real-time price plan.

 

     4.    a. An electric public utility may recover reasonable and prudent costs of providing smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology, pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), under a plan approved by the board.  Eligible cost recovery shall include annual depreciation and capital costs over the life of the smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology, in accordance with a depreciation schedule not to exceed 15 years, and the cost of any electric distribution system upgrades that the utility may require to enable the use of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology that are incurred after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), less operating and capital cost savings realized by the utility from the installation and use of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology.

     b.    An electric public utility may recover smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology costs as follows:

     (1)   through base rates, including a deferral for future base rate recovery of current basis with a carrying charge as determined by the board; or

     (2)   on a full and current basis through a reconcilable automatic adjustment clause as determined by the board.

     c.     In no event shall lost or decreased revenues by an electric public utility, due to reduced electricity consumption or shifting electricity demand, be considered any of the following:

     (1)   a cost of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology recoverable under any reconcilable automatic adjustment clause allowed by the board, except that decreased revenues and reduced electricity usage may be reflected in the revenue and sales data used to calculate rates in a utility rate base rate proceeding filed under R.S.48:2-21 or R.S.48:2-21.1; or

     (2)   a recoverable cost.

 

     5.    An electric public utility shall offer any employee whose position has been eliminated due to the utility's installation and operation of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) a one-time right of first refusal for any available position with the utility for which the employee may qualify.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately, but shall remain inoperative for 60 days following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires an electric public utility (utility) to file, within 90 days of the effective date of the bill, a proposed plan with the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for the procurement and installation of "smart meter infrastructure" and "smart meter technology," as defined in the bill, at customer premises.  The BPU is to approve or modify the smart meter plan within 180 days of plan submittal.  The plan is to describe the smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology the utility proposes to furnish, under the condition that they be provided: 1) upon a request from a customer that agrees to pay the cost of the smart meter infrastructure and technology at the time of the request; or 2) in new building construction.  The bill requires that the smart meter plan include a provision requiring a utility to make available, with customer consent, direct smart meter access and electronic access to customer smart meter data to third parties, including electric power suppliers and providers of an electric related service.

     The bill requires a utility to file with the BPU, within 24 months of the effective date of the bill, one or more proposed time-of-use electric rates and real-time price plans for customers provided with smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology.  The BPU is to approve or modify the time-of-use rates and real-time price plan within 180 days of plan submittal.  A residential or commercial customer may elect to participate in a time-of-use rates or real-time price plan.

     The bill allows a utility to recover reasonable and prudent costs of providing smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology, as determined by the BPU, through a base rate recovery proceeding or an automatic adjustment clause.  Eligible cost recovery is to include annual depreciation and capital costs over the life of the smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology, in accordance with a depreciation schedule not to exceed 15 years, and the cost of any electric distribution system upgrades that the utility may require to enable the use of smart meters and smart meter technology which are incurred, less operating and capital cost savings realized by the utility from the installation and use of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology.  The bill prohibits a utility from recovering lost or decreased revenues from customers due to reduced electricity usage or shifting electricity demand.

     The bill requires a utility to offer any employee whose position has been eliminated due to the utility's installation and operation of smart meter infrastructure and smart meter technology a one-time right of first refusal for any available position with the utility for which the employee may qualify.

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