Customers to Oppose National Grid’s Rate Hikes and Climate Destruction at Public Hearing Wednesday

New data shows one in four households in the U.S. do not have enough food to eat, and utility customers in upstate New York are falling further behind on their energy bills. Meanwhile, the state’s moratorium on utility shut offs could expire as early as October 4. Nevertheless, the utility giant National Grid seeks to rack up more corporate profits and climate destroying investments by raising energy bills on struggling residents. Virtual public hearings on National Grid’s proposed rate hike start Wednesday at 1pm. Residents and representatives of organizations will testify against the rate hikes and against the utility’s continued investment in methane gas pipelines, which are a violation of the state’s new climate law.

Public Hearings on National Grid’s proposed rate increase. The utility seeks to increase customer energy bills by $131.8 million next year (approximately $100 per year for the average residential customer). $41.8 million of the increase would go toward maintaining and expanding the company’s methane gas delivery system at a time when climate law requires that New York essentially phase out fossil fuels by 2050.

First hearing is Wednesday, September 30 at 1pm.

All hearing dates and times can be found here:  http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={0A9A79D4-05DD-4E2C-8723-9FAE6B44FE59}

Online and by phone.

To listen to the hearing: Any person who would like to listen to the hearing but would not like to make a statement may access the hearing without registering. The hearings will be livestreamed on the internet and available for viewing on the Department of Public Service’s YouTube channel on the dates and times listed above. To access the YouTube channel, visit the Department’s website, www.dps.ny.gov, and click on the YouTube icon at the bottom of the homepage. In addition, any person without internet access may listen to the hearings by phone by calling (518)549-0500 and entering the applicable access code.

To register to speak at the hearing, according to the Public Service Commission:

  1. Visit www.webex.com.
  2. Click “Join” at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Input the appropriate event number for the hearing in the spaces provided:
    1. 173 059 8337 for the September 30th event
    2. 173 214 6179 for the October 7th event
  4. Provide all other requested information.

Participants can also register by phone as well by calling 1-800-342-3330. Follow prompts to the appropriate hearing and provide the following information: first and last name, address, and phone number.

Residents and organizations concerned about rate hikes and the climate crisis. Organizations include: Alliance for a Green Economy, Citizen Action of New York, Stop the NY Fracked Gas Pipeline, PUSH Buffalo, Earthjustice, and Pace Energy and Climate Center.