How will the changes in the joint proposal affect NYSEG customers?
For an average NYSEG residential electricity customer using 600 kilowatt-hours per month and taking supply from the company, the monthly bill will increase an average of about 2% per year over the three years. That’s approximately $1.64 (2%) in year one, $1.76 (2.1%) in year two and $1.79 (2.1%) in year three.
For an average NYSEG residential natural gas customer using 980 therms per year, and taking supply from the company, the monthly bill will increase a little over 3% per year over the three years. That’s approximately $2.01 (2.1%) in year one, $4.01 (4.1%) in year two and $4.21 (4.1%) in year three.
What are the factors are behind the proposed rate changes?
We plan to enhance our tree trimming program to reduce the number of tree-related power outages. We will also increase our investments in grid automation, physical and cyber security, and accelerate replacement of leak-prone natural gas pipes.
We also plan to recover more than $260 million in storm expenses over five years. These are costs related to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, as well as other major storms.
Why is NYSEG looking to collect storm costs from so long ago?
While we regularly collect some storm response costs through rates, most of the expenses incurred as a result of these extraordinary storms in particular were deferred under the current rate plan approved by the New York State Public Service Commission. The current balance of all deferred storm expenses is $262 million. Under the joint proposal, we plan to collect these costs over five years to smooth out the cost.
Why is grid automation important?
With the rapid growth of large and small installations of solar panels, wind turbines and energy storage devices, it is essential that we continue to make our transmission and distribution systems – as well as our substations that connect the two systems – smarter and more resilient. Further, the distribution system must be better able to accommodate a two-way flow of power so excess power from residential and small-business generation systems can flow to the grid.
By continuing to invest in technology for our energy delivery system, we can achieve these objectives while preserving and, in some cases, improving overall reliability and power quality.
Why is system security important?
Ensuring the security of our energy infrastructure and our customers’ private information is a priority for our company. We are vigilant against threats to our facilities, our customers’ personal information, and the technology for controlling our electricity and natural gas systems.
Why is NYSEG planning to accelerate replacing leak-prone natural gas pipes?
We have an excellent natural gas safety record and is far ahead of many utilities in replacing leak-prone pipes. To ensure that we continue to provide safe, reliable natural gas service to you, it is prudent to accelerate the replacement of the remaining bare steel mains.