YORKTOWN, NY - The Public Service Commission held another round of virtual hearings this week pertaining to the proposed 31% rate hike for NYSEG's electric customers. In July, Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne sent a letter to the PSC requesting a public hearing be held in Yorktown. On Wednesday, Slater told state regulators that a 31% increase must be rejected.
"Families, seniors and businesses are all trying to figure out how they will keep their lights and heat on this winter," Slater said. "A 31% rate increase would be catastrophic and force many, especially our seniors on a fixed income, to choose between purchasing lifesaving medication and keeping their lights on. That is a wholly unacceptable proposition which is why the Public Service Commission must reject this proposed rate hike."
On September 13th the Yorktown Town Board unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its opposition to the proposed rate hike. The Board pointed to the increase in production costs which have been passed on to consumers causing utility bills to already skyrocket.
Somers Supervisor Rob Scorano added, "The Somers Town Board is preparing to formally oppose the NYSEG rate hike which will only add to the financial pain we are all experiencing. NYSEG is the sole electricity provider for the Town of Somers and we urge the Public Service Commission to reject the proposed rate increases."
Putnam Valley Supervisor Jackie Annabi stated, "The rate hike proposed by NYSEG will have a significantly negative impact on the quality of life of residents in Putnam Valley. I am honored to work alongside Supervisor Slater as we advocate together on behalf of all NYSEG customers."
Carmel Supervisor Michael Cazzari said, "We support Supervisor Slater's efforts to oppose NYSEG's rate increase request. Our taxpayers are facing increased hardship and a rate increase of this magnitude will severely impact their ability to maintain their standard of living."
The Town of Carmel submitted a letter to the Public Service Commission on September 9th formally opposing the rate increase.
Patterson Supervisor Richard Williams stated, "It is unfortunate that NYSEG decides to hike its rates at this time with the state of our economy and the stress it is putting on our residents. A rate increase of 31% will not help ease the crushing burden many of our homeowners and neighbors are grappling with. I appreciate Supervisor Slater's efforts speaking on behalf of NYSEG customers."
Southeast Councilman Eric Cyprus echoed the concerns saying, "New York State cannot allow this rate hike to pass and I thank Matt Slater for being a voice on behalf of our community. He is showing exactly the type of leader he will be in the New York State Assembly."
Shaun Boyd, a Kent businessman and candidate for Kent Town Board said, "Local businesses are barely keeping their doors open because of inflation and supply chain issues. This rate hike will be a killer for many business owners. I echo Supervisor Slater's sentiments and urge the Public Service Commission to reject this rate hike proposal."
AARP also called on New York State to reject the NYSEG rate hike which they called the largest rate hike ever proposed. “These rate increases will result in New York residents paying some of the highest utility rates in the country,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “The utilities companies need to go back to the drawing board; these proposed rate hikes are unacceptable.
“New Yorkers are already reeling from inflation and bracing for the huge spikes being projected in the cost of natural gas this coming winter,” Finkel added. “People need to be able to buy groceries, medications and other necessities; the last thing they need are historic increases in the cost of having their energy sent through wires and pipelines to their homes.”