(The following press release from the New York State Governor's Office was
received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the statement.)
GOVERNOR CUOMO CALLS ON PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TO REJECT CON EDISON'S
PROPOSAL TO RAISE UTILITY RATES
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today sent a letter to the Public Service Commission
(PSC) opposing Con Edison’s proposal to raise utility rates in 2014.
“With the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaching and the recent power
outage on the Metro-North’s New Haven line that inconvenienced tens of
thousands of commuters, it’s clear that now is not the time for Con Edison to
demand that its customers pay more,” Governor Cuomo said. “This year we
strengthened the Public Service Commission in order to create a more aggressive
watchdog entity that could hold utilities across New York accountable to
The letter from the Governor is below:
To the PSC Commissioners:
Since taking office, my administration has pushed to keep utility rates as low
as possible while maintaining a highly reliable electric system. Superstorm
Sandy, and more recently the disruption of service to Metro-North, reinforced
the importance of a reliable electric system and the need to hold utilities
accountable for their preparedness and response, especially when considering
potential rate hikes. For the past several months, the Department of Public
Service staff and other parties have been reviewing Con Edison's request to
increase electric delivery rates by 8 percent, gas delivery rates by 2.5
percent, and steam delivery rates by 2.3 percent. Based on the submissions of
staff and others, it is clear that such rate increases are not warranted, and I
urge the Commission to reject the utility's request to increase rates.
As you know, this year’s Enacted Budget included new provisions in the Public
Service Law to strengthen the oversight and enforcement mechanisms of the
Public Service Commission to ensure that major electric and gas utility
companies are held accountable and responsive to regulators and customers.
Giving real consideration to performance and service to ratepayers is
consistent with our goal to make the Commission and Department effective
regulators under our strengthened Public Service Law.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Con Edison customers
already pay among the highest electricity rates in the nation, making it
essential that the Commission scrutinize any request for further rate
increases. New Yorkers need to get more value for the price they pay for
utility service, and as part of this case the Commission and staff must also
carefully evaluate proposed investments in the system to ensure such
investments will benefit consumers. Given the historically low interest rates
and the economic and income growth forecasts, such investments can be made
without the rate increase requested by the utility. Maintaining stable rates
and indeed, lowering rates whenever feasible, is critical to supporting our
economic recovery and creating jobs in the region.
I commend the staff at the Department of Public Service for their efforts to
fully review and analyze Con Edison’s rate request and to find opportunities to
stabilize rates for the businesses and residents of New York.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
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