For Immediate Release: 6/14/18
John B. Rhodes, Chair
James Denn | James.Denn@dps.ny.gov | (518) 474-7080
June 14, 2018
PSC Dramatically Lowers Central Hudson’s Rate Request
ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today adopted a joint proposal supported by Department staff, the company, and parties representing customer, municipal, and environmental interests regarding new electric and natural gas rates for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation customers. The decision establishes a three-year electric and gas rate plan that limits the overall revenue increases in the first year to only $13.7 million or 1 percent for electric customers, and only $3.2 million or 1.5 percent for natural gas customers. Today’s decision represents a far better outcome for customers than the company’s initial request for a $63.4 million revenue increase in electric rates or 21.2 percent of delivery revenue, and a $22.2 million increase or 24.3 percent of delivery revenue in natural gas rates.
Under the new rate plan, a typical residential customer using 625 kWh of electricity per month would
see a total monthly bill increase of $1.46 or 1.3 percent in the first year starting in July 2018, $3.31 or 3 percent in the second year starting in July 2019, and $5.04 or 4.4 percent in the third year starting in July 2020. A typical residential heating customer using 910 therms of gas annually would see an average monthly bill increase of $2.54 or 2.1 percent in the first year, $5.59 or 4.4 percent in the second year, and $7.22 or 5.5 percent in the third year. Eligible low-income electric customers will see a bill reduction of up to 65 percent.
“The progressive plan that was adopted — endorsed with complete stakeholder support by environmental groups, large business customers, and the largest municipality in the region — includes a nation-leading affordability policy that substantially lowers bills for most low-income customers,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “Not only was it better than the plan submitted by the utility, but it advances the State’s climate agenda, expands energy efficiency investments, and funds non-wire alternatives and other cleaner, more resilient energy initiatives.”
The Commission’s decision provides funding for technology upgrades, expanded tree-trimming, and the low-income discount program. It allows the company to pursue the development of a training center and co-located primary control center. It provides for the continuation and enhancement of existing gas and public safety programs.
The Commission’s decision accounted for issues and concerns raised in public comments. Other benefits provided by the adopted joint proposal and also support the Reforming the Energy Vision Initiative, or REV, to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system, include:
Since the beginning of the case, Department staff has worked tirelessly to minimize cost increases by
advocating progressive outcomes regarding affordability, energy efficiency, and the environment. The
Commission’s decision also reflects the impact of changes to the federal corporate tax rate and
bonus depreciation prospectively, with a net first-year benefit for customers totaling $18 million.
Parties signing the joint proposal include the company, Department of Public Service staff, Multiple Intervenors, Pace Energy and Climate Center, New York Geothermal Energy Organization, the Utility Intervention Unit of the Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection, Dutchess County, Acadia Center, the Public Utility Law Project of New York, Inc., the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (partial); Bob Wyman, and the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, representing the U.S. Department of Defense and other Federal agencies. No party opposed the joint proposal.
Under the rate plan adopted by the Commission, Central Hudson will add 48 new jobs over three years. Central Hudson distributes electricity to approximately 300,000 customers and natural gas to about 80,000 customers in the Mid-Hudson River Valley region of New York.
Today’s decision may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Number17-E-0459 or 17-G-0460 in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number". Many libraries offer free internet access. Commission documents may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500). If you have difficulty understanding English, please call us at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this press release.