National Grid rates could go up next year

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – National Grid customers could be facing a higher bill come April 2018.

The energy company filed a proposal to reset delivery prices, which will lift a price freeze.

If approved by the New York Public Service Commission, electricity customers could be paying $11.23 more on their monthly bill and gas customers would see an increase of $10.38. Those with both could be paying more than $20 a month.

National Grid wants to invest $2.7 billion into energy infrastructure over the next three years, so it will come at an expense to its customers. Capital Region customers had mixed feelings about the increase.

“I’ll pay it,” John Polydouris, of Latham, said. “I mean, what are you going to do?”

“A lot of companies do that – ‘Well, we’re raising it to improve the quality for this,’ but they won’t give you an exact reason or this is where your money is being invested,” Andres Abra, of Albany, said.

But National Grid does want its customer to know the specifics.

“There’s a lot of investment that needs to be made into the system,” Patrick Stella with National Grid said. “There’s a lot of things we need to replace. We need to update things.”

Among them is more equipment to restrict outages and almost 300 more jobs, plus other necessary upgrades.

“As we replace meters, there would be new meters, and there’s a cost to that,” Stella said. “There’s a cost for the infrastructure for police for wires.”

But it won’t happen all at once. The rate hike proposal has to go through a nearly year-long process with the Public Service Commission.

“So it’s a long process, and it’s really a back-and-forth to figure out what exactly makes the most sense,” Stella said.

Some said the increase makes sense.

“When supply is low and demand is high prices are going to go up,” Polydouris said. “It can’t go any other way.”

While others feel like they’re stuck in an energy monopoly.

“It seems like they’re the only ones who can provide this service, so even if you like it or you don’t, you have to accept it,” Abra said.

The company also said it is willing to phase in the new rates over time.

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