Written by Powertwo staff
Homeowners across the Northeast are heading for more utility pain this year as rate increases form on the horizon. Electric and gas rates which have taken a two year break from their dramatic climb in recent years. As Rahm Emanuel, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives in 2008 “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”In 2013 top executives of major utilities are lobbying for increases to cover their losses due to the damage their infrastructure sustained as a result of “crisis” Super storm Sandy. So it appears that homeowners and small business owners who suffer tremendous losses of their own going without power for so long after the storm are now being treated to restored electrical service at higher rates.
NEW YORK. According to a study done by AARP, Con Ed customers paid an incredible 25.51 cents in July. New York is now second only to Hawaii in electrical cost. Proposed rate increases are added pain for homeowners in New York who already are subjected to the highest average rates in the country. The AARP study last month showed that New York’s residential electric rates are 58 percent highest than the national average. New York residential customers spent an average of 18.26 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity in March, compared with 11.59 cents for the average American.
PSE&G and JCPL have both put in for rate hikes. Atlantic City Electric customers saw their monthly bills rise 2.8 percent in July. It’s the second time the utility’s so-called base rate will have gone up in less than a year. In November, a 1.9 percent increase in Atlantic City Electric’s distribution rate, the price it charges to send electricity through its wires, took effect. At the time, bills for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month increased by $3.44.
The sixth and final hearing on a request for a rate increase by the state’s second largest utility company met with a mix of praise and criticism for Jersey Central Power & Light Wednesday at FreeholdTownship’s Town Hall.
JCP&L, widely criticism for its handling of Hurricane Sandy is seeking a 4.1 percent increase in the rates it charges its 1.1 million customers – many of whom lost power for weeks. The Morristown-based company, the main power supplier in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties, is seeking to recoup the $630 million it spent on repairs following Sandy. It has petitioned the state regulatory board — the Board of Public Utilities — which has held hearings throughout JCP&L’s coverage area since the beginning of the month.
New Jersey’s largest utility, PSE&G, was granted a 1.9 percent electric rate increase, confirming a settlement reached May 27 of their year-long bid to raise money from ratepayers for capital improvements. The average residential electric customer will see their monthly bills increase by $12.40 per year, or 0.89 percent.
Rockland Orange County got approval for a rate increase from the Public Service Commission for the next three years. Starting July 1, O&R customers saw their bills increase by an average of $3.06 per month, or $36.72 per year. (this was calculated based on a monthly average of 677 kilowatt hours – which is fairly low.) Though the utility claims there are some offsets to these increases the approved rate increases calculate out as 3.9 percent for 2012, 5.8 percent for 2013 and 5.4 percent for 2014.
Boston’s business journal reports that on July 16th, Unitil Corp.’s Massachusetts electric distribution utility recently petitioned the state Department of Public Utilities to raise its base rates in this state, asking for an increase of $6.7 million in annual base distribution revenue to go into effect on June 1, 2014.
The pending increase, an 11.5 percent jump over total revenue of its Massachusetts utility, would be applied to storm repair costs and efforts to improve customer service and reliability.
In February, the PSC granted BGE an $80.6 million rate hike; residential customers’ monthly electricity bills increased an average of $3.33. In the same rate case, the commission also approved a $32.4 million increase for BGE’s gas customers, a $2.70 monthly increase. Last July, the PSC approved an $18.1 million Pepco rate hike, an average monthly increase of $2.02 for consumers. – See more at: http://states.aarp.org/citizen-corps-fights-utility-rate-hikes/#sthash.BBcPOhgy.dpuf