In less than one week, New Yorkers can expect to see a jump in their utility bills, thanks to the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The PSC’s plan, which was approved back in January, is set to increase electricity rates by hundreds of millions of dollars annually for Con Edison customers over the next 12 years. These rate increases are set to take effect on Saturday, April 1.
The rate increases are to be used to bail out aging nuclear power plants that are operating in upstate New York. The bailout was announced by PSC as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, which is calling for 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable resources by 2030.
The plan has not been received well by the state Assembly. According to state Senator Tony Avella, the plan that the PSC initially offered estimated that the cost of the bailout would only be tens of millions of dollars. However, that number spiked over the summer to at least $2.8 billion.
“I am in total support of the governor’s goal to reduce, if not eliminate, the use of fossil fuels in New York. However, I am opposed to the way this program is being rolled out by PSC,” Avella said. “Taxpayers are being asked to bail out power plants in the form of billions of dollars yet we aren’t even sure how our money will be spent or what other options we have.”
Avella is sponsoring legislation that would force the state regulators to put the PSC’s plan on hold so they can thoroughly review the deal and give an opportunity for the public to voice their opinions about the issue.
“I urge my fellow New Yorkers to contact the governor and let him know that they find the PSC’s plan unfair and poorly thought out,” Avella added. “It is unreasonable that the PSC is taxing residents across the state to keep open failing power plants that might not even help reach our goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.”