PSE&G invests in infrastructure upgrades, energy efficiency

Newark, N.J., July 14, 2011 Public Service Electric and Gas Co. won approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to make additional investments in the company's electric and gas infrastructure, as well as in existing programs to help hospitals and other customers become more energy efficient.

About $273 million will be spent to accelerate electric and gas projects between now and the end of 2012 to improve reliability and further stimulate New Jersey's economy. The utility will invest an additional $95 million in its successful energy efficiency programs. 

The BPU approved extensions to PSE&G's Gas and Electric Capital Economic Stimulus Infrastructure Investment Programs for electric and gas distribution system upgrades.

The projects will result in job creation and retention, and enable the company to provide safe, highly reliable electric and gas service to the utility's more than 2 million customers.

The utility will spend about $195 million in accelerated capital improvements to its electric distribution network that are expected to create more than 300 jobs.

Among the projects are upgrades to voltage regulators, insulators, and breakers at substations; the replacement of underground cable facilities including transformers, network protectors and relays; upgrades to substation fire protection systems, and the replacement of overhead cable and other equipment.

The accelerated gas stimulus work includes eight projects representing an investment of about $78 million to enhance the reliability of the utility's gas distribution system. Among the projects are the replacement of 47 miles of aging cast iron and bare steel gas mains and 4,200 bare steel gas services.

Additional projects include the replacement of aging or obsolete gas pressure regulators, meter and regulating equipment, and electronic measurement systems. The projects will create more than 150 positions. 

These latest investments are in addition to about $700 million already invested by the utility since 2009 in accelerated infrastructure upgrades that resulted in 1,300 jobs new jobs created. PSE&G will recover the cost of the new programs through adjustments to electric and gas rates that would increase the typical residential customer's bill by less than 1 percent when taken together. 

In other action today, the BPU approved a request by PSE&G to invest an additional $95 million to bring energy efficiency measures to cash-strapped hospitals, municipalities, non-profits and multi-family housing units, including affordable housing and senior projects.

The investment is an extension of a $166 million program approved in 2009 to provide energy audits and the direct installation of energy efficiency measures to customers who might not otherwise have been able to afford them. 

This two-year program extension will provide additional investments in three program segments that are fully subscribed and have a backlog of customers who wish to participate.

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