Con Ed Rates “Astronomical” Despite “Mere” 5% Rate Increase

Brennan proposes Downstate Power Authority to acquire “deregulated” electric power plants and Con Ed facilities; would cut rates 30%
March 20, 2008
State Assemblymember Jim Brennan (D-Brooklyn) has introduced legislation to create a Downstate Power Authority (A.3739) that would cut rates 30% in the Con Ed service territory.

“The Public Service Commission allowing Con Ed a 5% hike or top of its astronomical rates offers no relief to consumers,” Mr. Brennan said.

The Public Service Commission’s actions under the Pataki administration in 2000 that “deregulated” the wholesale price of electricity had allowed rates to increase as much as 15% above what they were if they had stayed regulated, according to a study released by Mr. Brennan’s office in October. If a public entity owned the “deregulated” power plants in the downstate area, supply charges alone would drop since the plants would produce electricity at cost rather than what the market will bear.

Mr. Brennan said, “Public ownership is the only viable option to return rates to some measure of affordability.”

About one-fourth of the American people get their electricity from publicly-owned and operated electric systems at substantially lower rates.