There's a major rate hike coming for upstate New York National Grid customers, and it's not pretty. The utility plans to phase in the increases over the next 3 years, starting April 1, 2018.

This is a plan that has been in the works for quite some time. The original proposal would have called for the whole rate hike immediately. Last summer, the Times Telegram reported that Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and others requested that the New York State Public Service Commission turn that proposal down. After more than a year of negotiations and reviews, the Commission agreed to a revised plan that will stagger the increases over 3 years. According to the Watertown Daily Times, your gas and electric charges will increase starting with the May bill (for April's energy useage). Here's a breakdown of the average monthly increases for residential rates:

Residential Electric
■ Year one: $2.22
■ Year two: $3.03
■ Year three: $3.25
■ Overall: $8.50

 

Gas
■ Year one: $1.20
■ Year Two: $3.10
■ Year Three: $3.18
■ Overall: $7.48 (Watertown Daily Times)

Ironically, one of the reasons National Grid has requested the rate increase, according to the Watertown Daily Times, is to "continue implementing its energy affordability and economic development programs". This is in addition to their plan for updates to equipment and systems. I think everyone agrees that infrastructure improvements are important, but tax weary New Yorkers also need to make sure the increased revenue is being used for legitimate needs.

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