Even with the diversion of tens of millions of dollars in clean energy funds, the state does not plan to raise a surcharge that pays for it and other utility-related programs, Tom Johnson reports today in NJ Spotlight.
At least that is what the staff of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities told the Office of Legislative Services in a , a bit of good news for electric and gas customers who pays some of the highest energy bills in the nation.
Even keeping the surcharge (known as the Societal Benefit Charge) level, the staff said it should be sufficient, combined with anticipated carryover, to continue all existing programs to meet market demand.
That, however, presumably assumes that the Christie administration does not redirect any unspent money to help plug a roughly $807 million new hole in the state budget that needs to be closed by the end of June.
Already, the administration is “lapsing’’ another $117.4 million from the clean energy program in unspent dollars from the current fiscal 2014 budget and proposed fiscal 2015 budget. Since 2008, nearly $1 billion in ratepayer funds have been diverted to the general fund by the Corzine and Christie administrations.
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