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Comments sought on proposed electric & gas rates for NYSEG, RG&E customers

Submitted

Mon, Aug 17th 2020 11:15 am

Cost-cutting closure of 6 out of 16 customer service offices proposed

The New York State Public Service Commission announced it would hold four virtual public statement hearings beginning Aug. 26 and ending Aug. 27 to receive public comments on a joint proposal contemplating proposed changes in the New York State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. (RG&E) electric and gas delivery rates and practices, as well as the proposed closure of six of 16 customer service walk-in offices operated by the companies. The joint proposal was filed on June 22; it would establish new rate plans for the companies’ electric and gas delivery services for three years from May 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021; May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022; and May 1, 2022, through April 30, 2023.

The joint proposal is signed by the companies, the New York State Department of Public Service staff; Alliance for a Green Economy (gas businesses only); Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (gas businesses only); Bob Wyman; ChargePoint Inc. (electric businesses only); Concerned Citizens of Oneonta (NYSEG gas and electric businesses only); Dennis Higgins (gas businesses only); Empire State Development Corp.; Fossil Free Tompkins (gas businesses only); HeatSmart, a program of Solar Tompkins Inc. (gas businesses only); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 10 (NYSEG gas and electric businesses only); Keith Schue (gas businesses only); multiple intervenors; New York Geothermal Energy Organization; New York Power Authority (electric businesses only); Nucor Steel Auburn Inc. (NYSEG gas and electric businesses only); ratepayer and community intervenors (gas businesses only); Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (gas businesses only); Suzann Winkler (NYSEG gas business only); and Walmart Inc. (electric businesses only). While recognizing that additional impacts or developments may emerge requiring further action, the joint proposal expressly addresses customer and other impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As levelized over the three-year rate plan, the revenue increases for NYSEG’s electric business are $45.68 million in the first year, $84.77 million in the second year, and $88.56 million in the third year. The revenue increases for RG&E’s electric business are $15.24 million in the first year, $28.06 million in the second year, and $30.72 million in the third year. For NYSEG’s gas business, revenues will be decreased by $514,000 in the first year, increased by $3.35 million in the second year, and increased by $5.27 million in the third year. For RG&E’s gas business, revenues will decrease by $1.13 million in the first year and increase by $859,000 in the second year and by $3.87 million in the third year. The proposal would result in an increase in delivery revenue for NYSEG’s electric business of 6.1% in the first year, 10.6% in the second year, and 9.9% in the third year; and, for NYSEG’s gas business, a decrease in delivery revenue of 0.3% in the first year, an increase of 1.7% in the second year, and an increase of 2.5% in the third year. The proposal would result in an increase in delivery revenue for RG&E’s electric business of 3.4% in the first year, 6.3% in the second year, and 6.2% in the third year; and, for RG&E’s gas business, a decrease in delivery revenue of 0.6% in the first year, an increase of 0.5% in the second year, and an increase of 2.1% in the third year. The actual bill impacts of these proposed changes on any particular customer class will vary based upon revenue allocation and rate design.

In addition, the joint proposal would provide for the closure of the following customer service walk-in offices under a phased closure schedule beginning June 1, 2021: RG&E’s Rochester Office, 256 Waring Road (2021 closure); RG&E’s Fillmore Office, 32 Main St. (2021 closure); RG&E’s Canandaigua Office, 79 Clark St. (2021 closure); NYSEG's Lancaster Office, 150 Erie St. (2021 closure); NYSEG’s Hornell Office, 7760 Industrial Park Road (2021 closure); NYSEG’s Liberty Office, 26 Wierk Ave. (2022 closure).

Virtual public statement hearings on the joint proposal will be held as follows:

Wednesday, Aug. 26

•Time: 1 p.m.

Electronic access: www.webex.com

Event number: 129 561 6203

Password: August26-1pm

Phone-only access: 518-549-0500

Access code: 129 561 6203

•Time: 6 p.m.

Electronic access: www.webex.com

Event number: 129 716 5524

Password: August26-6pm

Phone-only access: 518-549-0500

Access code: 129 716 5524

Virtual public statement hearings on the proposed office closures will be held as follows:

Thursday, Aug. 27

•Time: 1 p.m.

Electronic access: www.webex.com

Event number: 129 700 4393

Password: August27-1pm

Phone-only access: 518-549-0500

Access code: 129 700 4393

•Time: 6 p.m.

Electronic access: www.webex.com

Event number: 129 380 7531

Password: August27-6pm

Phone-only access: 518-549-0500

Access code: 129 380 7531

Any person wishing to provide a public statement on the record at a hearing must pre-register to do so by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24. To register electronically: Participants who would like to provide a statement and will login to a hearing electronically may register to do so by visiting www.webex.com, where they should click “Join” at the top right-hand corner of the screen, enter the appropriate event number listed above, and provide all requested information.

When logging into a hearing on the appropriate date and time of the hearing, participants will be asked to “select audio system.” It is recommended participants opt to have the system “call me” or “call using computer.” The “call me” option will require participants to enter their phone numbers.

To register by phone: Any participant who is not able to login to a hearing electronically may participate by phone. Call-in participants wishing to provide a statement must register to do so in advance by calling 1-800-342-3330, where they should follow prompts to the appropriate hearing and provide the following information: first and last name, address, and phone number.

On the appropriate date and time of a hearing, all call-in users should dial 518-549-0500 and enter the relevant access code listed above. Each public statement hearing will be held open until everyone who has registered to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements to submit comments into the record have been made. Time limits may be set for each speaker as necessary. It is also recommended lengthy comments be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation.

A verbatim transcript of the hearing will be made for inclusion in the record of this case. Disabled persons requiring special accommodations should call the Department of Public Service’s human resources management office at 518-474-2520 as soon as possible. TDD users may request a sign language interpreter by placing a call through the New York Relay Service at 711. Individuals with difficulty understanding or reading English are encouraged to call the department at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this notice.

Other Ways to Comment

For those who cannot attend or prefer not to speak at a public statement hearing, there are several other ways to provide comments. Comments should refer to case “19-E-0378, “19-G-0379,” “19-E-0380,” or “19-G-0381.” Although comments will be accepted throughout the pendency of this proceeding, they are requested by Aug. 31, 2020. Internet or mail: Go to www.dps.ny.gov, then click on “Search” and enter the case number “19-E-0378,” “19-G-0379,” “19-E-0380,” or “19-G-0381” in the “Search by Case Number” field, and then click on “Post Comments” at the top right of the page; or send comments by email to the Secretary to the Commission at [email protected].

Alternatively, comments may be mailed to Hon. Michelle L. Phillips, secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. All written comments will become part of the record considered by the PSC and may be accessed on the Department of Public Service website by searching the case number, as described above, and clicking on the “Public Comments” tab. Toll-free opinion line: One may call the commission’s opinion line at 1-800-335-2120. This number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers, 24-hours a day. These comments are not transcribed verbatim, but a summary is provided to the PSC.

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