Watch CBS News

National Grid Gas Rate Hike Plan Meets Stiff Opposition

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Strong opposition was mounting Wednesday to a plan by National Grid to boost natural gas delivery rates.

As WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs reported, the state Public Service Commission has been hearing testimony on the request.

National Grid is looking to increase bills by $16 per month for the average customer.

The company's president said the delivery charge hike is necessary because there is a large discrepancy between what the state allows the company to collect and the increasing expenses it faces.

CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday that National Grid wants to charge more to deliver natural gas into downstate homes as residential gas bills could soar about $192 a year for its 560,000 customers in Nassau and Suffolk, and 1.1 million customers in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

AARP spokesman Chris Widelo said the $146 million natural gas delivery charge rate hike is outrageous and unaffordable for many senior citizens on fixed incomes.

"We just have not seen good evidence as to why there needs to be a rate increase, period," Widelo said.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine called the rate hike "unjustifiable."

"How do you raise gas prices, natural gas prices, when natural gas is the lowest it's been in the last 20 years?" Romaine said.

The increase, if approved, would go into effect next year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.