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11 N.J.A.R. 102

South Jersey Gas Co.; Village of Pine Run v
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Citation: 11 N.J.A.R. 102
Decision Date: 1985
Synopsis: Petitioner requested that its garden apartment complex be con- verted from master-metered to individually-metered gas service. Re- spondent did not oppose the conversion, but disagreed with the method suggested by petitioner. A petition was filed with the Board of Public Utilities and the matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. N.J.S.A. 48:3-3 prohibits a public utility from refusing to provide any service which can reasonably be demanded. Respondent claimed its refusal to accept petitioner's suggested mode of conversion was not unreasonable, since petitioner's plan would not comply with the company's safety policies. Board Staff supported respondent's pos- ition. The administrative law judge assigned to the case agreed with respondent that safety concerns should transcend conservation cost savings which usually result from conversion to individual metering. Cost savings do not justify compromising safety standards. In this case, too many questions remained about the safety of petitioner's proposed plan. Respondent was justified in declining to accept it. Accordingly, the judge concluded that petitioner could not reasonably demand, within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 48:3-3, that respondent im- plement petitioner's proposed method of conversion. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Board of Public Utilities. Anne S. Babineau, Esq., for petitioner (Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., attorneys) State of New Jersey 103 Ira G. Megdal, Esq., for respondent (Davis, Reberkenny & Abramowitz, attorneys) Edward L. Sparrow, Chief, Bureau of Pipeline Safety, Otto L. Ziegler, Supervising Engineer, and Jorge Nery, Accountant I, for the Staff of the Board of Public Utilities
Statute(s) Cited: 48:3-2 48:3-3 48:3-4 
Citation Tracker adopted-Bd. of Public Utilities; aft.-215 N.J. Super 54 (App. Div. 1987); certification denied, 108 N.J. 584 [Updated through 1991]