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National Grid rates will increase 11% over 3 years

Posted 15 March 2018 at 3:08 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: National Grid crews work to remove a tree and restore power on West Avenue in Medina on March 9, 2017, after a powerful wind storm knocked out power to about 11,000 National Grid customers in Orleans County.

Press Release, National Grid

New York regulators today approved a multi-party agreement to reset electricity and natural gas delivery prices for National Grid’s upstate New York customers over the next three years. The new delivery prices will take effect April 1.

The approved plan calls for increased investment in the company’s electricity and natural gas delivery networks, system hardening against increasingly frequent and severe weather, enhancements to energy efficiency and low-income support programs, and continuation of the company’s successful programs to support economic development in the communities it serves.

“After more than a decade of bill stability, we are pleased that our discussions with parties representing our customers and other key stakeholders have resulted in an agreement that will phase in delivery price increases,” said Ken Daly, National Grid’s New York President. “This plan allows us to invest $2.5 billion over the next three years in our energy infrastructure, while reducing the short-term impact on bills and providing customers a level of delivery price assurance.”

National Grid filed a one-year plan last April as required by law, but sought to reach a multi-year agreement that would provide longer-term delivery price stability for customers. The three-year plan approved today was developed and agreed to after months of negotiations among parties to the case.

In the first year, a typical residential customer’s total electricity bill will increase by about 3 percent, or $2 a month, compared to an increase of 11 percent requested in the one-year rate case.  A typical residential natural gas customer will see a total monthly bill increase of less than 2 percent, or $1, in the first year, compared to a 12.5 percent increase requested in the one-year rate case.  Subsequently, increases in residential customers’ total monthly gas and electricity bills will range from $3 to $3.25 for each commodity in year two and year three of the agreement.

The new delivery prices reflect more than $75 million of savings resulting from recent changes in federal tax law, with a provision to ensure that all tax savings are passed on to customers over the three-year rate plan. Today’s approval impacts only delivery prices. National Grid does not control or profit from energy supply prices, which are set by the market.

The plan also enhances National Grid’s new Energy Affordability Program, which has the potential to provide more than $70 million in annual low-income benefits. As a result, the majority of income-eligible customers will see a decrease in their typical average bill beginning in January 2018.The company also expects to increase enrollment in affordability, efficiency and gas safety programs by more than 50,000 customers.

The approved rate plan will allow National Grid to invest $2.5 billion over three years to modernize electricity and natural gas networks, including programs specifically designed to address and respond to the increasing frequency and severity of storms. The proposal also calls for 250 new National Grid jobs in upstate New York over the next three years to support electricity and gas operations, grid modernization and customer programs. The company also will continue and add new natural gas and electricity training academies through Erie, Hudson Valley and Onondaga community colleges. Additionally, National Grid will continue to support the state’s REV clean energy programs.

Signatories to the agreement include: New York Department of Public Service Staff, Multiple Intervenors, IBEW Local 97, PACE Energy & Climate Center, Environmental Defense Fund, NY-Geothermal Energy Organization, Tesla, ChargePoint, Great Eastern Energy, Mirabito Natural Gas, Blue Rock Energy, Direct Energy, New York State Office of General Services, the New York Power Authority, Wal-Mart East, Sam’s East, and the cities of Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

National Grid’s upstate New York customers have experienced more than a decade of stable energy bills. Adjusted for inflation, natural gas delivery prices have held steady and electricity delivery prices are lower than they were in 2004. Over that same period, the company has invested more than $6 billion in upgrading and expanding its delivery infrastructure.

(Editor’s Note: The Syracuse Post-Standard is reporting the rates will increase 11 percent over three years.)

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