LIBERTY – State Senator Jennifer Metzger (D, Rosendale) is opposing a proposed rate increase for electricity delivery by New York State Electric and Gas.
The senator said a 23 percent increase translating to an average increase of $10.20 a month on customer bills “would place an unreasonable burden on my constituents, is entirely unacceptable, and must be rejected.”
The increase would raise the rate of profit of the utility to 9.5 percent, which she said was one of the greatest contributors to the rate increase.
She also took issue with NYSEG’s “poor track record of service reliability” saying the company has “consistently under-invested in preventative maintenance for reliability, which worsened the severity of impacts of the March 2018 winter storms and has also contributed to a high frequency of power outages in my Senate district more generally.”
Metzger urge the state Public Service Commission “to ensure that proposed changes to [the utility’s] vegetation management plan prioritize circuits in the Catskills region, which has suffered an inordinate number of power outages,” and called for greater investment in the distribution system to improve reliability.
She noted NYSEG’s poor response to the March 2018 winter storms resulted in a recent $9 million settlement with the state and she urged the PSC to use that money to help communities most impacted by outages to become more resilient, including through investments in microgrids for critical infrastructure and back-up generation combining storage with renewable energy.
The PSC evidentiary hearing for the rate hike request is scheduled for February 3,