Wednesday, May 29th

Officials Urge Con Edison to Provide Relief to Rate Payers

con edison hard hat 1 101791f00c809faf2ac879fb205a37b2Governor Kathy Hochul, Public Service Commissioner Rory M. Christian and State Senators Andrea Stewart Cousins and Shelley Mayer all sounded the alarm about steep increases in energy bills that resulted in utility bills that were 58% higher for Westchester customers than the previous month.

In a letter to Con Edison sent on February 11, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul said, "The extreme utility bill increases we are seeing across the state come at a time when New Yorkers are already struggling financially following the COVID-19 pandemic," Governor Hochul said. "Even though the spike we are seeing in electricity, natural gas and fuel prices were predicted and are due to severe winter weather, I am calling on Con Ed to review their billing practices because we must take unified action to provide relief for New Yorkers, especially our most vulnerable residents."

Rory M. Christian, who is the Chair and CEO of the Public Service Commission also wrote to Con Edison. He urged the utility to change their billing practices. He said, “Total bills for full-service mass-market customers billed at the end of January were 49 and 58 percent higher for New York and Westchester customers, respectively, from their previous bill for the typical energy usage. Department Staff estimates that approximately 70 percent of the increase in supply rates between December and January was attributable to Con Edison’s forecasting hedge values being underestimated.”

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Senator Shelley B. Mayer, who will be Scarsdale’s State Senator following re-districting, sent a joint letter to Consolidated Edison and the Public Service Commission demanding that recent rate increases be suspended and other measures be taken to mitigate the impact of the dramatic jump seen in Con Edison ratepayers’ bills.

“We have grave concerns about the financial shock these high costs will have for our constituents and others across New York State,” said the Senators in their letter. “The rise in charges will result in serious challenges for many New Yorkers, particularly those already struggling to make ends meet.”

Recent spikes in energy prices coinciding with a planned rate increase approved by the Public Service Commission have resulted in some ratepayers’ bills more than doubling between December 2021 and January 2022. Both Senators had opposed the planned rate increase.

In the letter, which is attached to this press release, the Senators said the “situation is unacceptable” and called on the Public Service Commission and Con Edison to take immediate action to provide relief to ratepayers.

“Both the Public Service Commission and Con Edison have a responsibility to ratepayers, and such dramatic and unexpected cost increases demand action on your part in order to fulfill that responsibility.”

What recourse do consumers have if they feel that they are being unfairly treated by the utility who has a monopoly here in Westchester? One reader recommended that users email the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and ask them to investigate on Con Edison.  Visit their website here -https://ferc.gov/ and email them at Hotline@ferc.gov.

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