NEW YORK (AP) — Public Service Electric and Gas is estimating the cost of restoring power after Superstorm Sandy and a subsequent Nor'easter at between $250 million and $300 million.
The vast majority of that cost will almost certainly be borne by the utility's customers in the form of higher rates in future years.
PSE&G, New Jersey's largest utility, says 1.7 million of its electric customers were without power during the course of the storm — the most in the utility's history.
The storm also caused severe damage to its infrastructure. The Newark company, a unit of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., or PSEG, says it had to replace 1,000 transformers after the storm. Its crews are still working to repair its system.
The utility will ask regulators for permission to recover restoration costs in future years. In general, public utility commissions do allow utilities to charge for storm restoration, though they don't always grant utilities all they ask for — especially if the commission feels the company did not do an adequate job preparing for a storm or restoring customers fast enough afterward.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was generally supportive of his state's utilities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.