NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Con Edison customers in New York City and Westchester are going to get hit in where it hurts yet again: In the pocketbook.
State regulators approved a $1.2 billion rate hike over the next three years, reports CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer.
It’s a late Christmas present from Con Ed that many liken to getting coal in your stocking, new rates hikes for both gas and electricity that will take effect immediately and appear in the next bill.
“It’s horrible, it’s horrible because they’re never going to fix the man part with is the service,” said Alex Fruto of Elmhurst.
“I’m not happy about that at all,” said Shondell Gee of East New York. “I already pay enough to Con Ed.”
Residential gas customers using about 100 therms a month will see their bills go up $11.36 to $163.74 the first year, $191.05 by year three.
New York City residential electric customers will pay an average of $76.43 in year one, $82.86 in year three.
Westchester residential electric customers will pay an average of $106.46, rising to $115.68.
“No one ever wants a rate hike and we try to keep it low as best we can, but we’ve got major investments to be making over the next three years,” said Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin. “It will help enhance reliability but also lead New York into the energy future. We’ve got to get cleaner, we’ve got to get greener.”
The rate hike also includes $39 million to subsidize the utility’s electric vehicle charging station program.
Consumer groups like AARP slammed the hike as just another burden for New Yorkers, saying thousands simply can’t pay their bills right now.
“We know that over 300,000 Con Ed customers are already in arrears,” said Beth Finel, AARP state director. “What’s going to happen to them? It’s only going to get worse. Of the low-income Con Ed customers, 10% of them are in arrears.”
AARP wants the state to name a consumer advocate to the state Public Service Commission so that customers have a seat at the table when Con Ed asks for more money.