Mayor Adams backs a state plan to raise Con Ed electric and gas rates over the next three years — with the caveat that New York City’s biggest utility seek to “ensure that utility bills remain affordable for all customers.”
The proposed rate increase is “substantial,” but “a significant reduction” from what Con Edison originally sought, Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi noted in a statement attached to the joint proposal reached last week by Con Ed and the state Public Service Commission.
Con Edison’s original rate proposal, issued early in 2022, “would have added nearly $50 a month to the average New Yorker’s gas and electric bills,” said a statement from Adams’ office on Saturday.
“Through the negotiation process, these increases were cut in half, and we secured significant additional protections — particularly for low-income New Yorkers in disadvantaged communities,” the statement said.
Adams’ administration says the proposed rate increase agreement offers other benefits to New Yorkers — including new bans on service terminations in extremely hot or cold weather, continuation of low-income discount programs, and funding to bury electric infrastructure to protect it from storms.
“If there was a way for Con Edison to deliver the services New Yorkers count on, upgrade their facilities to 21st-century standards, and prepare for a clean energy future without raising their rates, we would have demanded they do so,” said Saturday’s statement from Adams’ office.
“But if we did not sign this joint proposal, we would have endangered many of the measures we advocated for in our negotiations, and that outcome is unacceptable.”
Under the rate hike proposal, electric bills in most of New York City and Westchester County would rise roughly 4.2% this year, 4% in 2024 and 3.8% in 2025.
Additionally, Con Ed gas bills in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens and Westchester would rise by about 6.7% this year, 6.3% in 2024 and 5.9% in 2025.
Exactly how the increases will be divided among Con Edison’s customers isn’t yet clear. Con Ed’s residential customers pay different rates than its business and government customers, and rates for cooking gas customers differ from those who use gas for heating.
The proposal also includes provisions meant to ease the city’s transition from fossil fuels to solar and other green-energy technologies — including in the city’s low-income neighborhoods.
The Public Service Commission is expected to decide on the rate increase plan in the coming weeks.
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