Much of the opposition to the rate increase was in response to New Yorkers already paying some of the highest costs for electricity in the country. Con Edison demand response rates follows a power line failure that halted trains on the New Haven line on the Metro-North Railroad. The company, serving both New York City and Westchester, has initially promised to invest $1 billion to make vital repairs to its power distribution network following the damaged wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. City and state officials have deemed these repairs necessary, heaping on criticism that the power company has performed poorly following recent storms.
Recent power outages have left millions of customers without electricity after rising waters flooded substations and electrical vaults that make up the city's power grid. The company has subsequently attempted to move equipment to higher ground while also building floodgates and protective walls around sensitive equipment in order to secure its power network. However, it has made additional plans to further fortify the network in the following years, such as updating gas-safety measures and fixing leak-prone gas piping. The effort will not only modernize the grid but will also introduce clean energy technology.
Con Edison had initially tried to argue that the revenue needed to update the power network should come from customers' pockets but Gov. Cuomo claimed the proposal was unfair to New Yorkers, claiming the company needed to find other sources of money to make the necessary changes.
'This is a clear victory for consumers and business, particularly those who suffered through power outages from Superstorm Sandy last year,' Mr. 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.'
The deal still requires approval from the Public Service Commission, but if approved as expected, bill costs will only change slightly. Some customers will see a slight increase and other customers a slight decrease in their costs but low-income customers that qualify will eligible for discounts. Gas and steam prices should generally remain unchanged under the new proposal as well.
Con Edison's response to the shortage in money for needed investments will be to raise money partly from company shareholders, who can expect to see a lower return on their investment for now. The company reported that it will pay $649 million in the next two years on what the company referred to as 'storm hardening' through shareholder money, money saved through cost-cutting and other sources.
Con Edison demand response rates will eventually come about after the two-year period, which has led advocacy groups such as the AARP to criticize the proposal, with the group pointing out that New York electricity rates are already double the national average. After the two-year freeze, bills are scheduled to rise by $47.7 million for electric customers and $40.8 million for gas customers.
According to a company statement released by the company, 'The discussions and public hearings that have taken place over the past year have resulted in a more thorough and comprehensive plan than the proposal we put forward in January, shortly after Superstorm Sandy devastated our area.'
The Public Service Commission will vote on the new proposal during its Feb. 20 meeting.
Mings Electricity Technology (Dongguan) Ltd. is conveniently situated in Dongguan, Guangdong Province of China – a world-renowned city for manufacturing. Mings is dedicated to establishing a top platform for electricity & power transmission and distribution solutions, with the purpose of better serving the Belt and Road countries’ infrastructure construction and development strategy.