WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a joint agreement with Con Edison on Tuesday that includes a two-year electric delivery rate freeze and a three-year gas and steam distribution rate freeze starting Jan. 1, 2014.
The agreement also requires the utility to make significant investments to strengthen the resiliency of the energy grid, improve energy efficiency, and accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more distributed energy system. This agreement stems from the Governor’s call last October for the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reject the utility's proposed rate hike.
“This is a clear victory for consumers and businesses, particularly those who suffered through power outages from Superstorm Sandy last year,” Cuomo said. “New Yorkers deserve stable power rates and a reliable electric system that is clean and fortified to withstand and respond to the impacts of future extreme weather. With this groundbreaking settlement, we have achieved both of these critical elements for ratepayers in New York City and Westchester County. I commend all parties, including the PSC staff, consumer and environmental groups and Con Edison for their efforts.”
The settlement proposal, pending approval by the PSC, provides Con Edison customers with a freeze in base delivery rates for two years for electric service and three years for gas and steam delivery services. Additionally, the settlement provides for significant investments in resiliency and system hardening; increases in gas safety measures and increases in leak prone pipe replacements; expansion of the low-income program; and increase investment in and focus on oil-to-gas conversions, which will reduce polluting air emissions, and distributed generation.
Under the terms of the joint proposal, residential customers will receive a two-year electric delivery rate freeze and a three-year gas distribution rate freeze starting January 1, 2014. Most commercial and industrial customer classes will see a rate decrease.
In addition to the rate freeze, other benefits for Con Edison customers include:
- Improving and increasing the discounts associated with the low-income electric and gas programs;
- Ensuring quicker reconnections of residential electric service by providing the company resources to expand its capability to reconnect most customers the same day they are eligible for reconnection of service;
- Strengthening performance measure targets for customer service; and
- and expanding performance measure targets for gas safety violations.