- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - State regulators have approved a $1 billion plan by New Jersey’s largest utility to raise rates over five years to strengthen electric and gas systems to protect them from future storms.

Public Service Electric and Gas initially sought $2.6 billion.

The Board of Public Utilities says it balanced the need for improvements with the potential impact on service and rates.

The plan allows PSE&G; to upgrade all 29 substations that were affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Tropical Storm Irene the year before. The utility also will improve redundancies and technology intended to make it easier to restore power after it is knocked out.

The BPU says rates will be determined by the pace in which projects are completed.

PSE&G; serves about three-fourths of the state’s customers.

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