Senate Majority Leader, and local State Senator, Andrea Stewart-Cousins today provided the following statement to the Public Service Commission to oppose the Con Edison utility rate increases:
“Thank you for holding this hearing in my Senate district.
“I am very aware of the high cost of energy that our residents pay. Con Ed rates are among the highest in the nation, and our region pays 16% above the national average for electricity and substantially more for natural gas.
“That is why I am opposed to any increase by Con Ed, even an incremental one, which would have a major impact and negative consequences for overburdened Westchester families.
“The electric rate increase now before the Public Service Commission calls for a 4.2% in Year One, an additional 4.7% in Year Two, and a 4% increase in Year Three.
“The increase for gas customers requested is 7.5% in Year One, an additional 8.8% in Year Two, and a 7.2% in Year Three.
“These are NOT incremental rate increases. They are major steps that will harm Westchester ratepayers.
“Ratepayers who paid approximately $300 last month in a combined gas and electric bill would be paying an additional $115, that’s almost 50%, over the three year period, for no increase in energy usage. That is a substantial amount of money, and it is simply unfair to Westchester residents.
“Similarly, monthly bills that are currently $600 would go to $635 the first year, $678, the second and a whopping $716 the third year—using the same current usage.
“By Con Ed raising the rates on the entire bill (both the supply and the delivery of gas and electricity), a constituent who gets their energy supplied on a flat rate from an ESCO (not Con Ed) would in fact be paying an increase.
“I believe this increase poses economic and quality of life hardships for my constituents. I am therefore, opposed.”