National Grid, Public Service Commission Respond to Santabarbara on Rate Hike Concerns

Assemblyman to National Grid
May 10, 2017

Shortly after National Grid announced it’s proposal to raise rates on residential and business customers in Upstate New York, Assemblyman Santabarbara responded in a letter to both National Grid and the Public Service Commission, calling the company's proposal “a move that will negatively impact families and businesses across Upstate New York”. Under the proposal residential electric customers could see their monthly bill increase by $11 – a 14 percent hike – and gas customers would see a monthly increase of $10.50 – a 15 percent increase. "That’s about $260 more each year that households, already struggling to get by, would have to come up with," said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “That is simply unacceptable.”

National Grid's President of New York Operations, Kenneth Daly, responded to Santabarbara’s letter in an email, citing “opportunities to phase in the increases” and noting “I fully understand the impact these increases would have on our customers -- and on your constituents -- and I personally commit that we will take every possible step to mitigate the bill impacts.”

A response letter from the Secretary of the New York State Public Service Commission Kathleen H. Burgess was also received by Santabarbara’s office. The letter stated, “The purpose of the review will be to ensure National Grid’s rates remain just and reasonable. This detailed review will include a careful and close examination” and that National Grid’s customers will have “ample opportunities for public comment and public hearings.” The letter went on to say, “Your comments have been included among the documents submitted in this matter, and thus are part of the Commission’s record thereon. Please be assured that they will be carefully considered by the Commission as it continues its work in this proceeding.”

"Whether the increase is phased in or not, the end result will still be an increase of $22.00 per month for families in upstate New York,” said Santabarbara, a member of the State Assembly’s Committee on Energy. "I again urge National Grid to withdraw its proposal and find another way,” Santabarbara said. “Increasing rates by $260 more each year for households that are already struggling to get by is not the answer,” Santabarbara added. “This proposal would have a significant and possibly devastating impact in Upstate New York.”