New York Lawmakers Want to Stop ConEd Rate Increase

By Matis Glenn

Consolidated Edison logo outside one of its buildings in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Dozens of New York lawmakers issued a letter last week, decrying ConEd’s proposed rate hike and calling for additional public hearings to address the issue, according to press releases.  

The letter, sent to the state’s Public Services Commission and Governor Kathy Hochul on September 26, was drafted by Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris(D) and Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani(D), and was signed by 18 state senators and 33 assemblymembers.

The letter described the proposed $1.7 billion rate increase, first announced in January, as simply “greater profits” for ConEd, which are “hurting thousands of New Yorkers.” The increase would bring in an average of $700 a year per customer – a full one percent of the average New Yorker’s household income. The letter also cited a study from “The City,” which said that New Yorkers are already behind $1.7 billion in utility bills.

ConEd, in their rate case proposal, says that the increases are necessary to “maintain a safe and reliable system, providing a strong foundation for the clean energy future,” and “enhance the customer experience and assist our most vulnerable customers.” The proposal lists many projects that the company plans on undertaking, including new IT systems with heightened security, modernizing transformers, and repairs.  

The lawmakers called for an additional public hearing, saying that “Working class New Yorkers need another chance to be heard in the course of this ongoing rate case which will determine whether the state accepts ConEd’s proposal to increase already high utility rates.”

Public hearings were held in March of this year, but the letter says that people didn’t know at that time how much of an increase they would be facing.

“ConEd has real chutzpah asking for rate hikes on top of rate hikes, which we know are the direct result of their own poor planning,” State Senator Simcha Felder(D), who signed on the letter, said in a statement. “ConEd should not get one more penny. They treat the pockets of 4 million New Yorkers like their personal piggy bank! New Yorkers are battling rising costs just to keep their families clothed and fed and must not be blindsided by crushing utility bills.” 

Low-income New Yorkers who receive governmental assistance benefits may qualify for a discount on their monthly energy bill through the Energy Affordability Program. For more information, call Senator Felder’s office, 718-253-2015.     

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