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 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.