SENATE ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 341

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  FEBRUARY 10, 2022

 

      The Senate Economic Growth Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Senate Bill No. 341.

      As amended and reported, this bill requires the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to adopt rules and regulations concerning the replacement of “back yard distribution equipment,” which is defined as distribution equipment located within the rear portion of any residential property where an electric public utility (utility) has an easement.

      Specifically, the rules and regulations would require a utility to establish a timeline, not to exceed 36 months, for the replacement of back yard distribution equipment within a municipality if: (1) the utility provided electric distribution service using back yard distribution equipment to at least 50 percent of the residences of the municipality; and (2) residential customers provided with electric distribution service using back yard distribution equipment within the municipality reported at least 250 incidents of sustained service interruptions during each year of the previous five-year period. 

      Under the bill, if a utility provides electric distribution service using back yard distribution equipment to at least 50 percent of the residences within a municipality, then the utility would be required to provide annual notice to the BPU concerning the number of incidents within the municipality during the prior year of sustained service interruptions reported by the utility’s residential customers whose electricity service is provided with back yard distribution equipment.

      The committee amendments clarify that each report of a sustained service interruption by a residential customer would constitute one incident of a sustained service interruption.

      This bill was pre-filed for introduction in the 2022-2023 session pending technical review.  As reported, the bill includes the changes required by technical review, which has been performed.