NYPA continues its hydropower rate freeze saving NYers nearly $20MM to date

Source: New York Power Authority

New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel announced that the Authority is maintaining the hydropower rate freeze adopted by the NYPA Board in March 2009. Various hydropower customers, including businesses in Western and Northern New York and municipal electric utilities and cooperatives, will have saved approximately $20 million over a 16-month period through this month from the rate freeze. The continuation of the current rates will add to those savings beyond the substantial reduction in electric bills from the hydropower’s low cost compared with other power sources. 

“New York State and the nation continue to face difficult economic conditions,” said Kessel. “The Power Authority sought to ease some of the impacts of the economic stress being felt by businesses and consumers by adopting a freeze on its hydro rates for low-cost power from the Niagara and St. Lawrence-FDR power projects. We suspended a scheduled rate increase last year in light of those conditions and will continue the freeze for now.” 

Kessel noted that the last hydropower rate increase by NYPA occurred over two years ago, in May 2008. 

By maintaining the rate freeze from last year, NYPA is helping to hold down the overall electric bills of Western and Northern New York businesses and for residents, mostly upstate. Those who benefit from low-cost NYPA hydropower include: 

• Over 180,000 residential and business customers of 51 municipal and rural cooperative electric systems throughout upstate New York and Long Island through the Preference Power program; 

• Nearly 130 industrial companies in Western New York that receive power under the Expansion Power and Replacement Power programs; 

• Municipal entities in Western New York, including the City of Niagara Falls, the Town of Lewiston, the Town of Niagara and Niagara County, that receive power under agreements stemming from the 2007 relicensing of the Niagara project; and 

• Preservation Power customers in Northern New York, including Alcoa. 

“The hydropower rate freeze, hopefully, has helped businesses and consumers to offset increases in other costs over the last year or so,” said Kessel. “We hope it has provided the kind of relief that it was intended to provide.”

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