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    Customers of New Atlantic City Electric will see higher electricity rates this November after the utility’s request for a rate hike was approved, raising the average electricity bill by $3.44, or almost 2 percent.

    The utility made the announcement on October 25, and stated that the new average bill for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will be $183.62. The hike was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Tuesday, after the utility said the higher revenues would be used to maintain the city’s distribution infrastructure, including utility poles and electric wires. The money will also cover repairs stemming from last year’s Hurricane Irene.

    “Atlantic City Electric recognizes the impact energy prices have on our customers, and we have taken several operational steps and implemented organizational efficiencies to keep our costs to a minimum,” Atlantic City Electric Region President Vince Maione said in a statement. “These improvements are designed to enhance reliability and service to our customers.”

    The higher rates may not be a problem for residents due to New Jersey competitive energy market, which allows customers to switch energy providers and shop around for the best electricity rates.