Power costs going up

NYSEG / RG&E discuss rate increases

Posted 11/22/22

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Starting next year, electric power could get more expensive for Sullivan County residents.

New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) provides electric power …

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Power costs going up

NYSEG / RG&E discuss rate increases


SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Starting next year, electric power could get more expensive for Sullivan County residents.

New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) provides electric power to customers throughout much of Sullivan County, according to a coverage map on its website. Together with its sister company, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E), it provides electric and gas power across New York State.

The two companies last updated their rates—the amount of revenue they receive from providing gas and electricity—in 2020. That year’s rate plan called for three years of stepped rate increases; for NYSEG’s electric rates, the plan called for an increase of 4.2 percent, 9.1 percent and 9.1 percent in those years respectively. The average electric customer saw their bill increase by $2.49, $4.13 and $5.54 in those three years respectively, according to a NYSEG press release from the time.

The companies requested much higher rates in the most recent go-around.

On May 26, NYSEG and RG&E filed a rate increase proposal with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), the agency responsible for regulating New York’s utilities. The proposal (as updated on August 12) would raise NYSEG’s electric delivery rate by 31.3 percent and its gas delivery rate by 14.4 percent; for RG&E, those numbers would be 18.9 percent and 18.1 percent respectively.

The average electric customer with NYSEG would see a 22.2 percent increase on their monthly bill, an extra $18.13. (An average customer uses 600 kilowatts of electricity per month, according to the filing; these averages are based on the May 26 filing, and will increase slightly under the August 12 update.)

Part of this increase results from the “relatively moderate” increases enacted in 2020, according to the companies’ filing. That rate increase came as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and was resolved with an eye toward customers impacted by the pandemic.

“The companies, the commission, and the parties did the right thing at the time,” reads the filing. “We needed to assist customers by minimizing bill impacts during the height of the COVID pandemic. At the same time,” those mitigation strategies led to “significant upward pressure” on the companies’ finances.

Other factors played their own roles. NYSEG and RG&E felt the impacts of inflation, higher interest rates and supply-chain struggles the same as the rest of the economy, according to the filing. New York State’s push for renewable energy means utility companies have to spend on projects like energy efficiency and electric vehicle infrastructure, it said. Other capital projects required additional investment—NYSEG plans to invest an additional $5 million annually, clearing trees away from power lines.

“The result is proposed rates reflective of what is needed to meet the challenges to our networks and systems today and safely provide service to customers during the transition to New York’s clean energy future,” reads the filing.

A public process

The process of settling these rates has yet to conclude; it has incorporated comments from several public hearings and over 4,000 written submissions so far.

Advocate groups have raised concerns about the impact these increases will have on NYSEG and RG&E customers.

“The companies’ requested residential rate increases… would result in an unacceptable exacerbation of the energy burdens of the estimated 350,000 low-income households in the NYSEG and RG&E service areas already saddled with unaffordable energy bills,” said William D. Yates, director of research for the Public Utility Law Project of New York, in testimony to the PSC.

The PSC aims for households to spend no more than six percent of their income on energy costs. The approximately 239,000 low-income households in the NYSEG service area alone spend an average of 9.7 percent, said Yates.

Comments submitted by a number of AARP members emphasize the burden the raises would place on older New Yorkers, “already struggling to make ends meet.”

“With inflation through the roof and energy supply costs already expected to spike this winter, we simply cannot afford unjust and unreasonably large increases to the delivery side of our utility bills as well,” read the letters.

PSC staff have evaluated the proposals from NYSEG and RG&E, and are working through settlement discussions with the companies. An evidentiary hearing previously scheduled for November 2 has been postponed until January 3, 2023, to allow these discussions to take place.

A filing from the companies that requests the postponement indicates that the new rates could be effective as early as June 2023.

NYSEG, RG&E, electric costs, rate increase


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  • fvs12719

    This is not surprising to me .

    The present administrations push for Electric cars etc. will make life very difficult for just about everyone.

    This is not the America I grew up in .

    This is not progress .

    Very scary time .


    Florence Simancas

    Wednesday, November 23, 2022 Report this