Monday, December 22, 2014

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Northern NY

PSC seeks input on National Grid rates

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: PSC seeks input on National Grid rates
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The New York State Public Service Commission will hold two public hearings in Onondaga County tonight, concerning electric and natural gas rates. The PSC is considering a joint proposal that would result in a moderation in delivery rates over a three-year term. Our Brad Vivacqua joins us from the newsroom now with more.

We all know the slightest change in our electric and natural gas rates can have a large impact on us all. Locally, the Public Service Commission is seeking public input tonight at both Fowler High School and Onondaga Community College. These public hearings are taking place across the state from Albany to Buffalo and you may also comment online.

The PSC is considering a proposal from National Grid that would raise the power company's electric rates by about $123 million over three years. The proposal also includes an increase in gas delivery rates of more than $8 million during that same period.

The new rates would coincide with the expiration of $190 million in electric surcharges. That means overall there would be a 1.7 percent decrease in electric bills during a three year period starting this year. Natural gas bills would go down the first year but would increase overall by about 2.4 percent in that same period.

The PSC and National Grid are seeking more input from customers once they understand the numbers.

National Grid Spokesman Patrick Stella said, "Try to see if it makes sense, if we've met some of their expectations and see where we can use that in the future or with this proposal. So, we take this feedback seriously, and we look at it and try to see what we can do to best serve our customers."

The public hearings will take place at Fowler High School on Magnolia Street in Syracuse from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today. Another hearing will take place in the Whitney Building at OCC tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be two more hearings later this month in the Buffalo area, but if you can't attend you're encouraged to comment online. You're encouraged to visit the PSC website where you can learn more about this and comment.

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