National Grid wants 2017 gas price hike for NYC, LI customers

 

National Grid gas customers in New York City face big rate hikes in January 2017 under a plan the company submitted January 29 to the state Public Service Commission.

A typical National Grid gas heating customer in Brooklyn, Staten Island or Queens now pays about $99.85 per month. Under the proposed rate plan, that typical bill would rise 14 percent to $113.83 per month, the company says.

People who live in the Rockaways and on Long Island will see smaller percentage increases. But that’s no bonus – their bills are already higher. A typical Rockaways/Long Island heating bill is now about $111.67 per month. Under National Grid’s plan, they’d rise 12 percent, to about $125.06 per month.

National Grid gas pricesIf the state decides one-year increases of 14 percent or 12 percent are too harsh, National Grid has proposed phasing in the boost over several years.

National Grid says the price increase will let it “significantly accelerate” its pipe replacement program to 165 miles per year in its New York City and Long Island territories. “Many of those miles of natural gas pipe are now aging, and although they are still very reliably serving our customers they are in need of replacement and modernization,” said Ken Daly, National Grid’s president of New York operations.

National Grid says that adjusted for inflation, its charges for delivering gas to customers’ homes are lower than what it charged in 1996.

It also notes that its customers have gained by plunging natural gas prices, which are now at a 14-year low. Natural gas, oil and other energy prices are at historic lows. But even oil’s dramatic price drop since 2013 hasn’t matched natural gas prices. National Grid says that it beats oil’s price by 44 to 45 percent.

As with the Con Ed rate case also filed on January 29, it’ll take the state about 11 months to decide on National Grid’s price boost.

About Bill Sanderson

I'm a New York-based journalist, and a former reporter at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire, the Bergen Record in New Jersey, and the New York Post. My work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch.com and Politico New York. Twitter: @wpsanderson.
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One thought on “National Grid wants 2017 gas price hike for NYC, LI customers

  1. Doug D. says:

    National Grid is using the skewed Customer Service performance levels created by the Public Service Commission, through its Quick Response System (QRS), to support its argument, in the rate case, that is has been providing superior customer service to its consumers. The PSC does not properly implement its QRS system thereby creating fictitious figures – always in the utility’s favor. In fact the Office of Consumer Services, routinely, through its given right to bend the rules, waives many cases and does not register them as complaints. When it is not registered as a complaint the utility is not penalized and in this particular case is now using that intentionally created false information to solicit more money from you the consumer. These are the things that go on behind closed doors unknown to the average consumer. The PSC, although created and advertised to be on your side, is not in reality on your side. It always and consistently favors the utility. And will do so in this rate proceeding further increasing our costs to live in New York. By the way, one of the statements by NGRID in the filing is that consumers will not notice the increase because gas prices have drastically fallen. They state “We recognize that these increases mean significant bill impacts for a typical residential heating customer on the delivery bill. Offsetting these increases to some extent will be natural gas prices, which are at a 14-year low.” This was the testimony of Mr. Kenneth D. Daly, CFA of National Grid. This thought process says it all. This is the culture of both the PSC and National Grid. We get a savings because the market has fallen and they want that money for themselves. It’s shameful and the fact they made that statement, in my opinion, truly shows their colors.

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