Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Communities

April 14, 2014

Rate hike explanation sought from Public Service Commission

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A state Assembly member representing Niagara County has asked the New York Public Service Commission for an explanation of recent bill increases passed along to local National Grid customers. 

In letters from his office to both the PSC and National Grid, state Assembly Member John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, cited a high volume of complaints from constituents who were in some cases charged 50 percent more in their March electric bills.

Ceretto said he’d like to know why rates increased so much — and he hopes an explanation will help reveal ways that similar increases can be avoided in the future.

“My constituents have been hit hard by the dramatic increase in electric rates this winter, and they want to know why,” Ceretto said. “I am asking for a thorough justification from National Grid and the PSC in regard to these hikes.”

Ceretto noted that consumers who want to do something about their rates can switch to fixed-rate plans offered by some suppliers. This removes the risk of being hit by rate spikes in winter, but also locks consumers into the same rate when prices fall due to low energy consumption.

“Everyone whose budgets have been squeezed by these rate hikes deserves an explanation from both National Grid and the PSC,” Ceretto said. “I intend to act on behalf of my constituents and get to the bottom of why this rate spike happened and figure out what can be done to prevent this from happening again.”

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