Con Edison Agrees to New York City Utility Rate Freeze in Pact

Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) agreed to freeze electricity rates for two years and natural gas rates for three under a settlement with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The agreement allows Con Edison, which serves the New York City area, to start investing $1 billion in planned upgrades to bolster its power and gas systems more than a year after Hurricane Sandy, the company said today in a statement.

“The market is going be in favor of a settlement,” Kit Konolige, a New York-based analyst for BGC Partners LP, said today in a telephone interview. “It reduces uncertainty and the working assumption will be the company wouldn’t agree to a settlement if it wasn’t relatively supportive for shareholders from a regulatory viewpoint.”

Cuomo had asked regulators to reject Con Edison’s request in January to raise electricity rates by 8 percent, gas rates by 2.5 percent and steam rates by 2.3 percent. The rate freeze starts tomorrow, Cuomo said.

The deal requires approval from the New York State Public Service Commission.

The shares were little changed after earlier rising as much as 0.7 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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