Big Step Forward, Big Step Backwards on Utility Rulings
AARP NY Praises Public Service Commission for Rejecting $12B Offshore Wind Industry Proposals but Slams PSC for Unprecedented NYSEG/RG&E Rate Hike
ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement in response to today’s actions by the State Public Service Commission (PSC):
“State utility regulators took a big step forward but also a big step backward today.
“PSC Chair Rory Christian along with other commission members showed great leadership today by denying requests for $12 billion in additional money from ratepayers to fund various offshore wind projects. Chairman Christian stood with residential ratepayers – who should not be used as a piggy bank. It is our understanding that Governor Hochul opposed these harmful requests and their potential impact on residential ratepayers.
“AARP New York supported and agreed with the Governor when she called initial electric and gas rate hikes proposed by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) ‘outrageous and unacceptable.’
“But the PSC today approved these rate hikes, which are little changed from the original proposal’s impact on customers’ bills. As is typical practice, the utilities came in with a one-year proposal and the rate increase approved today stretches that proposal over approximately two and a half years.
“The PSC should have rejected one of the largest rate increases in recent memory.
“At last count, over 127,000 residential NYSEG customers were more than two months behind in their bills, owing nearly $82 million combined, and nearly 77,000 RG&E residential customers were over two months in arrears, owing over $65 million, according to the PSC’s own data. Each utility company issued final shutoff notices to over 41,000 residential customers.
“Clearly, too many New Yorkers already can’t afford their bills – much less absorb the average $935 increase in the NYSEG service territory and $807 in RG&E during the two-and-a-half-year term of the hike approved today.
“The PSC’s approval of this unprecedented 62% increase in electric delivery rates for NYSEG and double-digit increases for RG&E will only make matters worse for too many already-struggling New Yorkers.”
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.