State Sen. George Maziarz said Monday he was pleased to learn the New York State Public Service Commission recently adopted a three-year rate plan for National Grid electric and natural gas that will reduce rates for upstate operations, with customers expecting to see lower bills next month. The significant savings to customers comes largely from the expiration of a $190 million surcharge called the competitive transition charge. The continued necessity of this charge was an issue first raised by Maziarz at a hearing three years ago.
In 2010, the Senate energy and telecommunications committee held a hearing related to National Grid's expenditures and proposed rate increases. During that hearing, Maziarz expressed great concern over the extended inclusion of the competitive transition charge, a surcharge that is paid by ratepayers to help companies transition from a non-competitive to a competitive marketplace. Since the hearing, Maziarz has worked cooperatively with National Grid toward reducing this charge. Through the adopted plan, this charge will expire, which will lead to great savings for residents.
"This surcharge was of concern to me three years ago, and was something that I have been working with National Grid to eliminate for some time now," said Maziarz, who is chairman of the Senate energy and telecommunications committee. "The elimination of this surcharge produces a large savings for ratepayers, and I commend National Grid for including this elimination in their three-year plan. I have long been committed to reducing electric rates for residents and I will continue to advocate for even lower rates moving forward."
The adopted plan will see the average residential electric bill decrease by about 6.6 percent and the average residential gas bill decrease by about 4 percent. Likewise, the delivery charges for year one of the plan will decrease by 8.7 percent from the current rate, and while year's two and three will see a slight increase of 2.8 percent, this rate will still be almost 6 percent lower than it is today.
"When I raised questions about this surcharge over three years ago, I did so to fight for the fair and proper utility charges for New York state residents," Maziarz said. "I thank National Grid for working with me and showing real leadership on this important issue. Eliminating this surcharge is the right thing to do and it will save my constituents money at a time when that savings is badly needed."