New Jersey Natural Gas Files to Extend Accelerated Infrastructure Program

November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) announced Oct. 22 that it has submitted a filing with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to continue its Accelerated Infrastructure Program (AIP II) and expedite a number of its previously planned replacement, reinforcement and expansion projects. NJNG is proposing to spend approximately $52.2 million on nine additional capital projects in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties.

Pending approval, all work associated with the proposed projects will commence as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2011, and will be completed no later than August 31, 2012.

NJNG will recover the costs associated with these projects through the same method approved for the current program over a period of approximately 42 years. The company will submit a cost recovery filing to the board of public utilities in June of 2011 and 2012 requesting a rate change to be effective in October of that year. There will be no change to customers’ bills associated with AIP II this heating season. The total anticipated impact for the average residential customer is expected to be approximately a 1% increase.

The AIP II has the potential to have a significant economic impact. According to a recent study conducted by the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, for every $1 million spent on infrastructure projects 10.2 jobs are created. Utilizing this formula and the results of the study, it is projected that the program could create 532 direct and indirect jobs, as well as generate $30 million in income and $40 million in gross state product.

The BPU approved the first AIP in April of 2009. The $70.8 million program included 14 capital projects throughout NJNG’s service territory. Seven projects have been completed, and work on the others is currently underway with completion expected before August 2011. Using the Rutgers study model, over 722 jobs were created as a result of this capital infrastructure program.

New Jersey Natural Gas is the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, a Fortune 1000 company that provides energy and natural gas services including transportation, distribution and asset management in states from the Gulf Coast to the New England regions, including the Mid-Continent region, the West Coast and Canada. For more information about NJR, visit www.njliving.com.