Translator Disclaimers
BPU History
In 1907, the New Jersey Board of Railroad Commissioners was created and empowered to have general supervision of all railroads operating within the State.  Subsequently, in1910, the Board of Railroad Commissioners was changed to the Board of Public Utility Commissioners and the duties of the Board were expanded by extending its regulatory jurisdiction over all public utilities which term was defined to include “…every railroad, express, street railway, traction, canal, subway, pipe line, gas, electric light, heat and power, water, sewer, telephone, telegraph…operating within the State of New Jersey for public use under privileges granted by the State.”

 

By an act signed into law in 1911 by then Governor Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the Board’s jurisdiction as well as its duties and obligations were further expanded to give the Board the widest range of regulatory power over public utilities and their property rights, equipment, facilities and franchises.  Those provisions have remained the core of the Board’s regulatory function to this day.

 

The mission of the Board, now known as the Board of Public Utilities and placed in but not of the Department of the Treasury, has been and continues to be to fairly and reasonably balance the interests of utility customers and utility shareholders; that is, to ensure the provision of safe, adequate and proper utility service and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of New Jersey while providing utility shareholders with an opportunity to realize a fair return on their investment.

 

In addition to its basic mission, the Board has been proactive in its efforts to protect the citizens of this State through a variety of programs that have placed New Jersey in the national forefront in the effort to expand the conservation of energy as well as the use of renewable energy technologies, and has responded quickly to assist in the fostering of cogeneration under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, the implementation of energy competition as contemplated in the State’s Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act and the establishment of a sound program to implement the State’s Underground Facility Protection Act and the Gas Safety Act to reduce the possibilities of major incidents occurring in New Jersey.