Possible rate hike on the horizon for National Grid customers on Long...

Possible rate hike on the horizon for National Grid customers on Long Island

Pixabay photo

By Brian Monahan

National Grid’s pending joint proposal before the state’s Public Service Commission could see monthly rates paid by the average residential customer increased by $28.52 for Long Island and $30.95 for New York City starting June 1 if approved. 

The lengthy process of proposing a rate increase, called a “rate case,” is organized akin to a court case, with administrative judges assigned to rule over the proceedings. The entire process, as well as the subsequent public feedback and negotiations with the state, can take over a year. The most recent joint proposal came after public comment on two separate proposals was heard for the New York City and Long Island region last year.

“National Grid is proud to play a vital role in achieving New York’s energy goals. The joint proposal submitted today includes critical improvements in infrastructure maintenance and upgrades that will enable us to continue providing reliable, affordable service while advancing the state’s energy priorities,” said Phil DeCicco, New York general counsel for National Grid April 9. “We are proud of the agreement we have reached with the Department of Public Service staff and other parties and look forward to receiving additional feedback from our stakeholders in the downstate region during the upcoming public review process.”

The current proposal has elicited varying reactions across the region, especially based on National Grid’s commitment to “transition to cleaner energy sources,” and investing in its existing gas mains to reduce emissions.

“It is always troubling to see rate increases but especially at a time when our families are having an issue putting food on their tables due to the faltering economy,” said state Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James), a member of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “The fact that these increases are being pushed in an effort to comply with the rushed elimination of fuel choice in New York State is disturbing to me.”

He added, “I have repeatedly stated that these haphazard and ill-conceived efforts will cost New Yorkers trillions, and we are already seeing the impact of putting the cart before the horse.”

Rate hikes are typically approved, albeit with some modifications.