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Rate Hikes Brewing For 1 Million JCP&L Customers To Help Cover Storm-Related Costs

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, work crews based in St. Louis, Missouri trim trees entangled in power lines on Broadway on November 3, 2012 in Bethpage, New York. (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, work crews based in St. Louis, Missouri trim trees entangled in power lines on Broadway on November 3, 2012 in Bethpage, New York. (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The cost of cleaning up after Hurricane Irene, superstorm Sandy and two other major storms may be passed down to some New Jersey utility customers.

Jersey Central Power & Light, New Jersey’s second-largest utility company, has been given tentative permission to raise customers’ bills to pay the costs it incurred to restore power following the storms in 2011 and 2012.

As WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reported, the agreement was reached between JCP&L and some state regulators. Under the deal, the utility would be able to raise an additional $736 million.

“That stipulation is a significant step in our being able to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars that JCP&L spent to restore customers to service as quickly and safely as possible,” utility spokesman Ron Morano told Miller.

Morano said recovery of storm-related costs is allowed under New Jersey state law.

When it initially filed with the Board of Public Utilities last year, the company said rates would need to go up 4.5 percent, or about $53 per year per customer. The rate hike could affect about a million customers, Miller reported.

The deal still needs the approval of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities full board.

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