PSEG is proposing a three-year increase of almost 4 percent annually to its delivery charges, which LIPA increased only twice during its 16 years as Long Island’s utility provider.
The proposed increase would begin as soon as the 2013 three-year rate freeze expires out in 2016, and it would raise delivery charges by 3.8, 3.9 and 3.9 percent for 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.
This translates to about a $3.30 monthly increase in the average residential customer’s utility bill, according to PSEG.
The proposed increase, which the utility describes as “modest,” would raise PSEG’s revenue by about $72 million per year. PSEG says it would use the new funds for improvements to the Long Island electrical grid, its customer service and its storm response and preparedness program.
Delivery charges constitute about half of PSEG electric bills. The other half, a fuel supply charge, has risen 81 percent from September to December – “far above the actual cost of fuel,” according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele.
“Long Island already has among the highest utility rates in the nation,” Thiele said in a press release yesterday. “The only thing PSEG is missing is a gun and a mask.”
PSEG took over management of Long Island’s electric sytem in January 2014. Citing a 2014 JD Power survey, PSEG says it’s had exemplary customer satisfaction rates, with “the most improvement in overall customer satisfaction of any large electric provider, anywhere in the nation,” according to a PSEG press release announcing the proposed increase.
“We’ve accomplished a great deal, but we need to invest in infrastructure, maintenance, tree trimming and customer service in order to give the people of Long Island the utility they deserve,” said PSEG president and chief operating officer David Daly in the release.
The proposed rate plan, filed with the New York State Department of Public Service Jan. 30, will now be reviewed by department staff. The plan requires approval of the Public Service Commission and the LIPA board of trustees.
Public hearings on the proposed rate plan will be scheduled across the island throughout 2015, the utility said. No dates or locations have yet been made public.