N.Y. regulators establish three-year rate plan for electric, gas customers of Con Edison

The commission said that it approved a first-year electric rate increase of $113.3m, or 3.1%, and a first-year gas rate increase of $47.2m, or 6.7%

The New York State Public Service Commission on Jan. 16 said that it has established a three-year rate plan for electric and gas customers of Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison) by adopting the terms of a joint proposal that is more favorable to customers than the company’s original rate request.

Under its initial proposal, the utility sought a first-year electric revenue increase of $485m, or a 4.6% increase in total revenues, the commission said, adding that when considering $178m of expiring customer credits, total revenues would have increased by 7%. Con Edison also sought a $210m gas revenue increase, or an approximately 9.1% increase in total revenues, the commission said, adding that when considering $102m of expiring customer credits, total revenues would have increased by 14%.

The commission said that it instead approved a first-year electric rate increase of $113.3m, or 3.1%, and a first-year gas rate increase of $47.2m, or 6.7%. In the second year, electric revenues will increase $370.3m, or 3.8%, and will increase $326.4m, or 3.3%, in the third year. The commission also said that gas revenues in the second year will increase $176.3m, or 7.3%, and will increase $170.3m in the third year, or 6.5%.

Under the new rate plan, a residential electric customer using 600 kWh per month would see an average total monthly bill increase of $5.46, 4.2%, this year; $6.37, or 4.7%, starting January 2021; and $5.65, or 4%, starting January 2022. The commission added that a residential gas heating customer using an average of 100 therms per month will see an average monthly bill increase of $11.37 in the first year, or 7.5%; a $14.44 increase in the second year, or 8.8%; and a $12.86 increase in the third year, or 7.2%.

The commission noted that parties who signed the joint proposal include Con Edison; New York State Department of Public Service staff; New York City; Association for Energy Affordability; Blueprint Power; CALSTART; ChargePoint, Inc.; Consumer Power Advocates; Direct Energy Services, LLC; Metropolitan Transportation Authority; New York Energy Consumers Council; New York Geothermal Energy Organization; New York State Office of General Services; New York Power Authority; New York Retail Choice Coalition; and the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

The commission noted that the Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council signed on to the joint proposal only for the electric case.

In a separate Jan. 16 statement, Con Edison said that the approved three-year investment plan is essential to helping the state achieve its clean energy goals, as well as to continue to provide safe and reliable service to customers. In addition to investing about $3bn each year for electric and gas service reliability, the plan provides funding for clean energy programs and energy efficiency, the company said, adding that it will encourage customers to choose alternatives to fossil fuels with incentives and rebates for geothermal heat pumps, energy efficient appliances, and electric vehicle chargers.

The company noted that the plan provides $700m over the next three years for energy efficiency programs, and that Con Edison will develop a climate change implementation plan to manage climate change risk going forward.

As noted in the commission’s order, according to the company’s rate filing, the primary drivers of both its electric and gas requested rate increases are growth in the company’s rate base resulting largely from increases in net plant, along with the associated depreciation expense and property taxes from those investments, the recovery of deferrals, and a requested increase in its allowed rate of return. A reduction in forecast sales is a rate driver for electric delivery service only, while increases in operations and maintenance expenses is a rate driver for gas delivery service only, the commission said.