NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With winter on the way, New York City residents could see electricity rates spike by up to $500 million following a recent decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to Sen. Charles Schumer.

The New York Democrat has written a letter to the head of the FERC calling for an immediate re-do of the decision that excludes lower-cost plants from selling electricity in New York in favor of companies with older, less efficient power plants.

The senator, speaking with community leaders outside the Con Edison power plant on 14th Street and Avenue C in Manhattan, said the decision was reached by the FERC commissioner at the urging of the out-of-date plant operators in an effort to protect their bottom lines.

In the recent decision, Schumer said the FERC overturned a decision made by New York Independent Systems Operator, Inc. to allow more efficient power plants to sell electricity at a lower rate to the New York market.

Schumer said the decision to exclude the more cost-effective power plants would result in increased electricity rates to homeowners and businesses, potentially to the tune of a half-billion dollars in total.

He called for a new hearing on the matter and for the FERC to issue a new decision.

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