In news that will shock just about no one, the Public Service Commission (PSC) staff and a group of energy watchdogs have signed off on an agreement with Con Edison to let it increase gas and electric rates in the next three years, Crain’s reports.
Co-op and condo residents can expect to pay 4 percent more for electricity and 7.5 percent more for gas around the first of next year. The bumps are necessary, according to Con Edison, to pay for infrastructure upgrades and for the utility’s pivot toward renewable energy sources.
By the end of the three-year rate period, the average apartment’s electric bill will rise from about $73 to about $83. Business owners will pay an average of about $200 more by 2023, while individual gas customers will shell out about $40 more. The hikes come at a time when Con Edison has imposed a moratorium on new gas hookups in parts of Westchester County, citing a maxed-out delivery system. National Grid has also imposed a moratorium on new hookups as it works to overturn the state’s rejection of the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline, a major infrastructure project designed to deliver natural gas to New York City and Long Island via a pipe laid on the bottom of New York Bay. Environmentalists have applauded the state’s rejection of the pipeline on grounds that it could damage the city’s waterways. They also argue that utilities need to be devoting resources to renewable energy sources while turning away from reliance on fossil fuels.
A range of environmental groups and government entities, including the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change, signed off on the the new rate hike.
“This agreement, reached with multiple outside parties, if approved will allow for approximately $3 billion per year in electric and gas infrastructure investments to continue providing New Yorkers with safe and reliable service while building the path to renewable energy and a cleaner environment,” Con Edison spokesman Michael Clendenin said.
The full PSC still needs to approve the proposal, but insiders say it likely will be approved.
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