The New Jersey Business & Industry Association is supporting two bills approved by the Assembly on Thursday that would increase transparency in the decision-making process of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
Specifically, A-1626 (Rodriguez-Gregg, Howarth, both R-8) would require the BPU to provide written analysis of some of its rate decisions, and A-4511 (DeAngelo, D-14) would require BPU public meetings to be broadcast live on its website.
“Decisions affecting the cost of utilities should be as transparent as possible because they impact virtually every business to some degree,” said Sara Bluhm, NJBIA’s vice president of Environment and Energy. “The BPU has an important role to play in the cost and reliability of utilities, and these bills will help us understand how costs are determined and rates are set.”
Under A-4511, the BPU would be required to provide an audio or video transmission of any public meetings held in a building owned by the state, provided the building is equipped to do so. The board would also have to make an electronic archive of the meetings available.
A-1626, meanwhile, would require the BPU to issue a written decision containing a detailed analysis and accounting of any adjustment in tariffs or rate increases it approves. This decision would have to be provided within 60 days following the approval of the rate increase and be conspicuously posted on the board’s website.