New Jersey residents who lose food or medications requiring refrigeration due to extended power outages would be eligible for reimbursement from the utility company under legislation introduced by Senator Kip Bateman.
“The lights in our state have been going out more frequently, and for longer durations,” Bateman (R-16) said. “Not only is that an extreme inconvenience for those who lose power for days, it can also be a costly one as perishable foods and prescriptions spoil in the heat. If the power companies cannot restore electric service in a reasonable time, 48 hours, they would be liable to pay for the loss.”
Under Bateman’s bill, S-2836, a utility customer could recover up to $500 for spoiled food and up to $1,000 for the cost of compromised prescription medications.
“This bill would create an additional incentive for power companies to get the lines charged quicker,” Bateman said. “There is no excuse for electric customers going without lights for as much as a week or more, but that has been the reality for too many New Jerseyans recently.”
Customers would be required to submit an itemized list of spoiled goods and proof of loss to the electric utility under the measure.