UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island residents will soon see higher energy bills, and a PSEG Long Island said Tuesday that the move is necessary.
For the average PSEG Long Island ratepayer, 2017 is starting out with sticker shock in the monthly bill. Each customer saw an increase double what authorities had announced just two weeks ago.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, many Long Island residents will say the PSEG Long Island bills are too high already. But now they are being hit with a $6.50 increase on their bills – after fuel, labor agreements, green energy and effects of the weather impacted costs.
“The price of fuel is going up, and so that’s impacting the bill as well in January,” said PSEG Long Island spokesman Jeffrey Weir. “If that weren’t the case, customers wouldn’t see much of a change in their bill at all.”
But PSEG Long Island board member Matthew Cordero said the impacts of the year’s budget on electric rates were not discussed at the most recent agency board meeting.
“At the last board meeting, we spent a lot of time talking about the budget. We never brought up what the rate impacts were going to be, and I take blame on myself for not doing that,” he said. “We should have discussed the rate impacts.”
As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported Monday, skeptical consumers wonder why PSEG Long Island is asking them to pay more on new predictions that natural gas prices will rise, when they see relatively stable energy prices every day at the gasoline pump.
PSEG Long Island touted that because of efficiencies, some of its numerous monthly charges will actually decline, but home owners trying to stay afloat in one of the nation’s most expensive places to live say they’ve had enough.
“Long Island is expensive,” Jennifer Bergmann-Melville of Suffolk County told Rose Monday. “I’m kind of tired of it how much are they going to do to us already. It’s out of control already — it is.”
PSEG Long Island said its revenues are put back into customer service, adding the utility invested more than a half billion dollars in system upgrades just last year.
PSEG keeps the lights on for more than one million homes on Long Island alone.