NYSEG Files Plan to Fund Operations, Investments in System Reliability
and Storm Cost Recovery
Rochester, NY – NYSEG, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, submitted a filing with New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to fund operations, investments to improve reliability and for repayment of storm restoration costs. The filing proposes tariff changes to become effective in May 2016. NYSEG seeks an overall revenue increase of $165 million annually, which includes a $126 million revenue increase for the company’s electricity service and a $38 million revenue increase for natural gas service. The added revenue will support an increased vegetation management program in line with common industry standards to trim all of the company’s 35,000 miles of distribution lines on a five-year cycle. NYSEG also proposes a five-year schedule to recover more than $260 million in past storm restoration costs, including costs related to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. NYSEG’s plan also includes funding for enhanced natural gas safety, grid automation, and strengthening the physical and cyber security of its electric and natural gas networks.
NYSEG’s average residential electricity customers monthly costs are the lowest of the state’s large utilities and the company’s natural gas costs are among the lowest. NYSEG’s service rates have been stable since 2012, and under the new proposal, its customers will continue to pay some of the lowest electricity and natural gas delivery rates in the state.
If the PSC approves these proposals, for an average NYSEG residential electricity customer using 600 kilowatt hours per month and taking supply from the utility, the bill will increase approximately $8 per month from $80.56 to $88.60, or about 10 percent. For an average NYSEG natural gas customer taking supply from the utility and using approximately 980 therms over the course of a year, costs will rise an average of $10 per month, for an 11 percent increase or about $120 for the year.
"NYSEG’s residential customer costs are the lowest of New York’s major electrical utilities and among the lowest for natural gas utilities,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. "After nearly four years without a rate change, this plan provides funding to enhance safety and reliability and recover past storm expenses, while keeping our customers’ costs among the lowest in the state.”
The plan includes funding for projects to strengthen NYSEG’s transmission and distribution systems. These include projects in Cayuga, Columbia, Delaware, Onondaga, and Otsego counties, as well as increased investment in system automation to improve system reliability. NYSEG also proposes to initiate a five-year tree trimming cycle throughout the service area. This practice is recognized as an industry standard to improve reliability, and is the standard at all other major utilities in New York.
Investments in the company’s natural gas distribution networks include an accelerated, 11-year pipe replacement program to eliminate the company’s remaining areas of leak-prone natural gas mains. The company will also use the added revenues to expand service to communities that don’t presently have natural gas service.
NYSEG is also seeking payment over five years of more than $260 million for past storm recovery costs including Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Recovery for these previous storm expenditures represents nearly half of the annual revenue increase sought by the company. NYSEG’s proposal also reflects an increase of $18 million for annual property taxes.
The state’s utility regulations impose an 11-month period for the PSC’s review, and allow opportunities for public comment and participation by interested parties.
Click here to learn more about NYSEG’s plan, or visit the PSC’s website to search all documents filed in the case:
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