Assembly Dennis Gabryszak (D, I-Cheektowaga) sent a letter to Chairman Garry E. Brown of the New York State Public Service Commission insisting that he reject the New York State Electrical and Gas Corporation’s proposed rate increase. NYSEG has asked the Public Service Commission to approve an 18.6 percent increase in Electrical rates and a 17.4 percent increase for gas rates. These rate increases come after NYSEG promised that they would not raise rates the previous year.
Commenting on the rate hike bid Assemblyman Gabryszak said “It is unconscionable that NYSEG would attempt to raise rates when working families are struggling to make ends meet.” He went on to say “Heating your home in Western New York is not a luxury, asking to increase rates on a necessity just as we are entering winter in not fair to the people of Western New York.”
NYSEG argues that because of the economic downturn credit is more difficult to come by. As a result NYSEG claims that they do not have the necessary revenue to make infrastructure improvements.
Assemblyman Gabryszak rejects this statement stating “These needed infrastructure improvements have plagued NYSEG for some time now, I believe that raising rates now in a time of economic crisis is pure opportunism. NYSEG has asked for these rate increases at a time when energy prices have gone down over the last year and when Federal Stimulus money has provided a windfall for energy companies.”