Cuomo Announces Two-Year Deal With Con Ed To Freeze Rates

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday an agreement with Con-Ed that includes a two-year electric rate freeze and a three-year gas and steam distribution rate freeze. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Con Edison

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a joint agreement with Con Edison on Tuesday that includes a two-year electric delivery rate freeze and a three-year gas and steam distribution rate freeze starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The agreement also requires the utility to make significant investments to strengthen the resiliency of the energy grid, improve energy efficiency, and accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more distributed energy system. This agreement stems from the Governor’s call last October for the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reject the utility's proposed rate hike.
 
“This is a clear victory for consumers and businesses, particularly those who suffered through power outages from Superstorm Sandy last year,” Cuomo said. “New Yorkers deserve stable power rates and a reliable electric system that is clean and fortified to withstand and respond to the impacts of future extreme weather. With this groundbreaking settlement, we have achieved both of these critical elements for ratepayers in New York City and Westchester County. I commend all parties, including the PSC staff, consumer and environmental groups and Con Edison for their efforts.”

The settlement proposal, pending approval by the PSC, provides Con Edison customers with a freeze in base delivery rates for two years for electric service and three years for gas and steam delivery services. Additionally, the settlement provides for significant investments in resiliency and system hardening; increases in gas safety measures and increases in leak prone pipe replacements; expansion of the low-income program; and increase investment in and focus on oil-to-gas conversions, which will reduce polluting air emissions, and distributed generation.

Under the terms of the joint proposal, residential customers will receive a two-year electric delivery rate freeze and a three-year gas distribution rate freeze starting January 1, 2014. Most commercial and industrial customer classes will see a rate decrease.

In addition to the rate freeze, other benefits for Con Edison customers include:

  • Improving and increasing the discounts associated with the low-income electric and gas programs;
  • Ensuring quicker reconnections of residential electric service by providing the company resources to expand its capability to reconnect most customers the same day they are eligible for reconnection of service;
  • Strengthening performance measure targets for customer service; and
  • and expanding performance measure targets for gas safety violations.

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Comments (6)

tommy.meehan.77:

As a residential rate payer I don't want to starve Con Edison into poor condition. I don't want to trade blackouts or brownouts for lower rates.

The fact is, however, Con Ed electric rates have risen almost 100% since 2000. That's a lot. As a Con Ed customer you pay way above market rates for your ESCO if you use the one Con Ed chooses for you. That's outrageous.

People talk about high taxes chasing business out of New York. The fact is high utility bills chase businesses away as well.

MisterBill2:

Why would anyone let Con Ed select an ESCO for them?? I have yet to find an ESCO that can actually save me money, and I've looked at a bunch. Randomly picking one would be incredibly foolish.

tommy.meehan.77:

Why would anyone allow Con Ed to select an ESCO for them? Because until ten years ago they were not allowed to compete. And it was only a year or two ago that NYS made it easy for consumers to compare and choose with the Power Choose program.

Since you can easily compare rates via the Power Choose site why would anyone randomly choose one?

The ESCO I chose is saving me close to 50% per KWH over what I was paying previously. I estimate I'm saving $20-$30 a month. YMMV

ducatista:

And why are we freezing rates in January when they're typically the highest of the year as opposed to the average across the whole prior year? Thanks for the effort but ConEd still seems to eke out an advantage here....

MisterBill2:

Electric rates are at their lowest of the year in January, not highest (that would be the summer). And it's only the delivery rate that they are freezing. The supply cost is still based on the market and can go up (or down).

Activist Bill:

Why will commercial and industrial customers have rate decreases but not residential customers? The residential rate freeze is good, but a decrease should have been mandated too.

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