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Burzichelli, Benson, Riley, Moriarty & Caride Bill to Make it Easier for Consumers to Save Money on Electricity Continues Advancing
(TRENTON) - Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli, Daniel R. Benson, Celeste Riley, Paul Moriarty and Marlene Caride to make it easier for New Jersey consumers to find electric bill savings was released Monday by a Senate panel.
The bill (A-2132) authorizes the Board of Public Utilities to promulgate regulations having electricity providers provide information so customers can compare prices and services.
"We want to arm New Jersey consumers with adequate and accurate price comparison information that will enable them to make informed choices when it comes to purchasing electricity," said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). "Every dollar counts, especially these days, so we should be doing what we can to help consumers save."
"Any electrical customer in New Jersey is eligible to shop around for an electric energy supplier, but this can become a daunting and complicated task," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Making it easier for consumers to comparison shop and save money is the sensible thing to do."
"Let's make it easier for consumers to save money," said Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). "An easy-to-use web site detailing price comparison information can lead to immediate savings but maybe even more savings down the road by enticing competition."
"Anything to help consumers save money is a good thing," said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). "We know this program can work, so let's get it done."
"This is a proven concept that can go a long way toward saving money for consumers," said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). "We should always be looking to make it easier for consumers to save money."
The program would be modeled after Pennsylvania's PaPowerSwitch website - www.papowerswitch.com - where Pennsylvania residents and businesses can go to find detailed information about all energy providers in the state and their rates, along with guidance as to how to evaluate energy needs and what to consider when choosing a provider.
Under the bill, the board will be able to promulgate regulations to require each electric public utility, electric power supplier, marketer, government aggregator and broker to provide adequate and accurate price comparison information.
The board can then compile that into a single, understandable database and post it on its website in a manner that enables customers to compare prices and services on a uniform basis.
The board may contract with a public or private entity for the purpose of developing, administering, and maintaining the database, but the board shall monitor the work of the entity to ensure that the database is developed, administered, and maintained pursuant to the requirements of this section.
The bill was approved 79-0 by the Assembly in October 2012 and advanced Monday by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
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