Bill Text: NJ S2859 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires electric public utility to reimburse customer for cost of spoiled food and prescription medicine resulting from service outage more than 48 hours after end of storm.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-08-27 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee [S2859 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S2859-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2859

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED AUGUST 27, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires electric public utility to reimburse customer for cost of spoiled food and prescription medicine resulting from service outage more than 48 hours after end of storm.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


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 customer who experiences a sustained interruption in electric service for the actual cost of food or prescription medicine, or both, that spoils due to lack of refrigeration caused by the sustained interruption.

     b.    A customer whose food or prescription medicine has spoiled due to a lack of refrigeration caused by a sustained interruption shall be entitled to a reimbursement for the actual cost of the spoiled food or prescription medicine, or both.  A customer who requests a reimbursement, pursuant to subsection c. of this section, shall provide to the electric public utility an itemized list of the spoiled food or prescription medicine, or both, and proof of loss including, but not limited to, a cash register tape, store or credit card receipt, cancelled check, or photograph of the 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.

     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 this section:

     "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 48 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 a utility customer for the cost of food or prescription medicine, or both,  that spoils as a result of a sustained power outage.  Under the bill, a customer whose food or prescription medicine spoils due to a lack of refrigeration caused by a sustained power outage would be entitled to a reimbursement for the actual cost of the spoiled food or prescription medicine.  A utility customer would be required to submit to the utility an itemized list of losses, and proof of loss, as specified 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 Board of Public Utilities.

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