By: Ryan Deffenbaugh |
New Yorkers will soon be paying more for their electric and gas bills.
A plan from Consolidated Edison to raise rates on electric and gas over the next years was approved Thursday by the state Public Service Commission, despite the protests of environmental and consumer groups.
The increases will net Con Ed about $1.2 billion in extra revenue from its gas and electric business over the next three years.
The company says the plan will allow it to invest $3 billion yearly to improve reliability and invest in clean energy, including $700 million for energy efficiency programs.
“The three-year investment plan approved today is essential to helping New York State achieve its clean energy goals, as well as to continue providing safe and reliable service to our customers,” a Con Ed spokesman said in a statement.
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change and the Natural Resources Defense Council all signed off on the plan. The NRDC, however, provided its approval only the electric increases and spending, not the natural gas proposal.
But the plan drew protests from environmental groups for its plan to send investment to natural gas infrastructure. Opponents included city Comptroller Scott Stringer, who said the plan will “funnel more cash into fossil-fuel infrastructure that will dig us deeper into the climate crisis.”
The meeting in Albany Thursday became contentious enough that a group of climate protestors were escorted out by state troopers, according to the Albany Times Union.
The AARP also led a charge to have the plan voted down. After the vote Thursday, the group criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for staying on the sidelines as the regulatory panel—whose members he appoints—voted in favor of the hike.