AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement in response to the joint proposal.
The proposal is from the New York State Public Service Department and Consolidated Edison on a three-year rate increase for the utility company:
“State regulators should reduce Con Ed’s double-digit rate hike proposal. It couldn’t come at a worse time for its customers. The cost of everything from eggs to energy has skyrocketed over the past year, and the New York City metro area’s largest utility company wants to boost ratepayers’ monthly electric delivery bills by nearly 20% and gas delivery bills by 31%, as well as increasing the size of the fixed customer charges utility consumers must pay every month.
“Con Ed customers already pay some of the highest gas and electric bills in the nation. The company’s request for big increases to heat our homes and keep the lights on delivers a double-whammy to ratepayers in New York City and Westchester County because customers would pay for upkeep of gas infrastructure that’s being phased out while also paying to upgrade the electric grid as the state moves forward toward all-electric power.
“What’s particularly frustrating in this rate case is that there’s still no commitment from Con Ed to seek available federal dollars for storm hardening, grid upgrades needed as we move toward electrification, and climate resiliency projects. Instead, those costs will fall on ratepayers’ shoulders. That’s completely unacceptable, and the Department of Public Service is essentially signing off on this approach by offering this joint proposal – leaving federal funding opportunities on the table.
“Even those outside the Con Edison service territory should be concerned by the practice of saddling ratepayers with the cost of expensive grid upgrades and a new substation. The Public Service Commission should insist any utility seeking a rate increase leverage all available federal dollars before looking to dip further into utility consumers’ wallets. And it should start by saying ‘no’ to the Con Ed joint proposal until this avenue is pursued.”
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.
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