Photo Courtesy of Con Ed
“The three-year investment plan approved today is essential to helping New York State achieve its clean energy goals, as well as to continue providing safe and reliable service to our customers,” Con Edison officials said in a statement.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The State Public Service Commission on Thursday established a three-year rate plan for electric and gas customers of Con Ed by adopting the terms of a joint proposal that is much more favorable to customers than the company’s original request, reducing the initial rate year request by more than three-quarters, according to the State Department of Public Service.
In January 2019, Con Ed sought approval from the PSC for new electric and gas delivery rates in 2020. The proposal, according to the utility, sought an additional $485 million to run the company’s electric delivery system in 2020 and $210 million for the natural gas delivery system.
According to Con Ed, over the next three years, on average, electric rates would have gone up by 13.5 percent in that time. Electric bills would have increased 4.2 percent this coming year, then 4.7 percent the following year, and an additional 4 percent in 2022.
The utility was also expected to raise the price of natural gas, with a 7.5-percent increase in 2020, 8.8 percent in 2021 and 7.2 percent in 2022.
Instead, the Commission noted that it approved a first-year electric rate increase of $113.3 million, or 3.1 percent, and a first-year gas rate increase of $47.2 million, or 6.7 percent. In the second year, electric revenues will increase $370.3 million, or 3.8 percent, and will increase $326.4 million, or 3.3 percent in the third year. Gas revenues in the second year will increase $176.3 million, or 7.3 percent, and will increase $170.3 million in the third year, or 6.5 percent.
Under the new rate plan, a residential electric customer using 600 kWh per month would see an average total monthly bill increase of $5.46 or 4.2 percent this year, $6.37 or 4.7 percent starting January 2021, and $5.65 or 4 percent starting January 2022. A residential gas heating customer using an average of 100 therms per month would see an average monthly bill increase of $11.37 in the first year, or 7.5 percent, an $14.44 increase in the second year, or 8.8 percent, and a $12.86 increase in the third year, or 7.2 percent.
“The three-year investment plan approved today is essential to helping New York State achieve its clean energy goals, as well as to continue providing safe and reliable service to our customers,” Con Ed officials said in a statement.
However, the new pact did not find universal support in NYC.
“This agreement allows Con Edison to continue to funnel ratepayer dollars into fossil fuel infrastructure that only digs us deeper into the climate crisis. Rather than building bigger pipelines, we need to invest in sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy options. I have called for a moratorium on all major gas infrastructure because any pipelines we invest in today will only become tomorrow’s stranded assets,” said City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “If Con Edison can’t think past their profits, then we need to seriously explore how a public takeover of New York’s natural gas system could allow us to make responsible, sustainable decisions about our energy future. Maintaining the fossil fuel status quo is tantamount to climate denial.”