N.Y. Gov. Cuomo announces rate settlement with Con Edison

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a joint agreement with Consolidated Edison Co. that includes a two-year electric delivery rate freeze starting January 1, 2014.

The agreement also requires the utility to make investments to strengthen the resiliency of the power grid, improve energy efficiency and accelerate the transition to a 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.

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, as well as reductions in air emissions and increases in distributed generation.

Under the terms of the joint proposal — signed by the majority of parties, including Department of Public Service staff, the city of New York, and several environmental and consumer groups — residential customers will receive a two-year electric delivery rate freeze starting January 1, 2014. Most commercial and industrial customer classes will see a rate decrease.

In January 2013, Con Edison requested state Public Service Commission (PSC) approval for an increase of 8 percent to electric delivery rates for one year beginning January 2014, among other things. After the one-year period, Con Edison could have returned to the PSC for approval of another rate increase.

In response to the utility's proposed rate increase, Gov. Cuomo sent a letter to the PSC on Oct. 8, 2013, urging it to reject the utility's request to increase rates. Specifically, the governor asked the PSC to stabilize rates and ensure utility investments would truly benefit customers. The new joint proposal meets both of these objectives.

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