PSC cuts Central Hudson rate hike request

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ALBANY- The State Public Service Commission Thursday approved a three-year rate plan for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. customers that is dramatically lower than what the company initially requested.

The commission adopted a joint proposal signed by the company, department staff, and environmental and business groups, that, among other things contains provisions to promote energy efficiency, demand response, geothermal deployment, and electrification options to meet customers’ energy needs while working to lower natural gas demand and further minimize the need for additional gas infrastructure.

The three-year rate plan for Central Hudson’s electric and gas businesses began on July 1, 2021 and will continue until June 30, 2024.

Central Hudson initially proposed delivery rates that were designed to produce an annual electric delivery revenue increase of approximately $32.8illion and an annual gas delivery revenue increase of $14.4 million, resulting in base delivery revenue increases of 8.4 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively, or total bill increases for an average residential customer of 6.2 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

With the commission’s decision, electric delivery revenues will decrease $1.1 million in the first year and increase of $8 million and $8.7 million in the second and third years, respectively. The gas delivery revenue increases will be $3.9 million in the first year, $3.9 million in the second year, and $4 million in the third year.

For the typical residential electric service customer, the revenue changes would yield a $0.33 decrease in the average monthly bill during the first year, a $1.72 increase in the second year, and a $1.82 increase in the third year. The average monthly bill of the typical gas service customer would increase by $1.64 in the first year, $2.17 in the second year, and $1.50 in the third year.

The order adopts terms of a joint proposal executed by Central Hudson; trial staff of the State Department of Public Service; multiple intervenors; the Public Utility Law Project of New York, Inc.; the New York Geothermal Energy Organization; the Utility Intervention Unit of the New York State Department of State; Alliance for a Green Economy; Dutchess County; the New York Power Authority; and several private energy companies.