ConEd: System "Reliable." Will Continue To Seek Rate Hike

Categories: Seriously?
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Remember last week when Governor Andrew Cuomo ripped utility CEOs -- including the top-dog at ConEd -- a new one for their lack of preparedness for Hurricane Sandy? And how this week thousands of people in New York City are currently without power -- because of ConEd's alleged lack of preparedness?

Well, despite all that, ConEd wants to raise your rates.

In September -- prior to last week's hurricane -- the power giant announced plans to raise rates. Public outrage be damned, the company still plans to raise rates.

"We've been investing in our system and part of the reason in general, excluding such a major storm as this, is the system is very reliable. We're going to continue to make those investments and we're going to continue to, as appropriate, apply for increases," ConEd CEO Kevin Burke told WCBS.

Burke says he's "very sorry about what happened," but the company plans to go ahead with a petition to the Public Service Commission to raise rates.

Last week, Cuomo sent utility CEOs a letter stating the following: "If you failed to prepare, however, as evidenced by your response, it is a failure to keep your part of the bargain - a failure to keep the trust that New Yorkers have placed in you by granting you the privilege to conduct utility business in New York State; in particular, the certificates of public convenience and necessity ("Certificate") granted by the State under the Public Service Law. New Yorkers should not suffer because electric utilities did not reasonably prepare for this eventuality. In the context of the ongoing emergency, such a failure constitutes a breach of the public trust."

The governor went on to say "Under such circumstances, I would direct the Public Service Commission to commence a proceeding to revoke your Certificates."

For now, those certificates are still in place -- and ConEd wants to raise rates as roughly 288,000 people are still without power across New York. For those folks, ConEd wants to raise rates on electricity they currently don't have -- and haven't had for over a week.

See Cuomo's entire letter below:

November 1, 2012

Mr. Kevin Burke, Chief Executive Officer
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc.
4 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003-3598

Mr. William Longhi, President & Chief Executive Officer
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
One Blue Hill Plaza
Pearl River, NY 10965

Mr. James Laurito, President & Chief Executive Officer
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
284 South Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Mr. Mark S. Lynch, President
Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. & New York State Electric & Gas Corp.
89 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14649

Mr. Ken Daly, Chief Operating Officer
National Grid - NY
One Metro Tech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Mr. Thomas B. King, President
National Grid, USA
201 Jones Road - 5th Fl.
Waltham, MA 02451-1120

Mr. Michael Hervey, Chief Operating Officer
Long Island Power Authority
333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 403
Uniondale, NY 11553


Dear Gentlemen:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers are faced with responding to its continued harsh impacts on literally every facet of life. I recognize there are men and women in the field now working hard to restore service, and we are grateful for their efforts. But it is your job to provide them with adequate resources and support to get the job done in a timely and safe manner. Utilities, like elected officials, are vested with the public's trust. In the case of utilities, in exchange for conducting business and generating profits for their shareholders, they are entrusted to provide safe and adequate utility service. When they fail to keep the public's trust, they must answer.

Because we had several days' notice of an event of catastrophic proportions, State and local government and New Yorkers prepared for an impending storm. Indeed, the public depended on utilities to prepare for such an event, respond to emergencies and to return, as quickly as possible, to providing safe and adequate electricity. The response of your companies to this emergency will be, in great part, a function of how well you prepared for it and a testament to how seriously you view this responsibility.

If you failed to prepare, however, as evidenced by your response, it is a failure to keep your part of the bargain - a failure to keep the trust that New Yorkers have placed in you by granting you the privilege to conduct utility business in New York State; in particular, the certificates of public convenience and necessity ("Certificate") granted by the State under the Public Service Law. New Yorkers should not suffer because electric utilities did not reasonably prepare for this eventuality. In the context of the ongoing emergency, such a failure constitutes a breach of the public trust.

Under such circumstances, I would direct the Public Service Commission to commence a proceeding to revoke your Certificates. With respect to the Long Island Power Authority, I will make every change necessary to ensure it lives up to its public responsibility. It goes without saying that such failures would warrant the removal of the management responsible for such colossal misjudgments.

Sincerely,

ANDREW M. CUOMO


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1 comments
mjet007
mjet007

Rate Hikes... Con ed is such a dirty company

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