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AARP AARP States New Jersey

AARP NJ is Advocating for Affordable Utilities

Financial piggy bank decisions

AARP advocates for older adults’ access to reliable and affordable utilities and works to ensure rates and policies are fair. Many older adults have low or fixed incomes and depend on utilities for employment, education, medical services, social connection and access to emergency services. We’ll combat efforts that unjustly increase the price of electricity, gas, water and wastewater services or reduce oversight by consumer advocates. Increasing utility costs creates challenges for older adults who live on low, moderate or fixed incomes, leading them to make tradeoffs that directly impact their health and wellbeing.

Enacted! This legislation will help provide residents access to the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). AARP supported this legislation, which was enacted in April 2023.

AARP Supports: Expanding existing and establishing new utility bill payment assistance programs, including flexible payment arrangements. AARP also supports increasing efforts to ensure customers are educated about and directed to available utility assistance programs.

Enacted! AARP worked to pass legislation that requires the BPU to conduct a study of the effects of COVID-19 on local and public utility service and to quarterly collect and publish certain local and utility services and customer information.

AARP Opposes: 
Requires Division of Rate Counsel to consider environmental impacts of proposed rates or service measures when representing public interest in certain proceedings and appeals.

The New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, like other consumer advocate offices around the country, seeks to level the playing field. It gives residential customers a voice in matters that affect rates and consumer protections. In New Jersey, the Division of Rate Counsel has played an essential role in ensuring rates are fair, reasonable and more affordable, saving consumers billions of dollars in proposed rate increases.

While AARP supports the goals of the state to transition to clean energy sources, we oppose blurring the role of the Division of Rate Counsel.

As part of its decision-making process, the BPU deserves to hear independent recommendations from various and distinct perspectives about issues surrounding utility regulations.

Utilities and other interest organizations, including those focused on environmental issues, have lawyers and experts that present before regulatory agencies and courts.

AARP believes the best decision-making model for utility regulation is to have separate advocates address each policy goal, rather than collapse those regulatory goals into one over-worked agency.

The Division of Rate Counsel is an important component of New Jersey public utility regulation, and the office's independence is of paramount importance. New Jersey ratepayers need at least one clear watchdog in their corner.

For more information on AARP New Jersey’s advocacy priorities, visit   

About AARP New Jersey
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