Schumer: Energy East Is Violating Its Deal With NYS

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today wrote to the Public Service Commission asking them to reject Energy East's request to raise gas and electric rates on nearly 1.5 million New York ratepayers. In a letter, Schumer outlined a host of reasons for the PSC to dismiss their request, contending that it violated several of the terms established by the PSC in approving Iberdrola's purchase of the utility and also made questionable claims in an attempt to justify the rate increase.

“This rate hike application reeks of profit mongering by a company that promised not to do just this as a condition of the approval of its merger. Just as New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet, Energy East is trying to pull a fast one on its customers. The PSC should reject this application without any hesitation,” U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said.

Iberdrola, a Spanish utility company, recently purchased Energy East, which is the parent company of NYSEG and RG&E, serving over 1.5 million ratepayers, spanning communities across Western NY, the Finger Lakes Region, the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley, the Capital Region and North Country.

During the regulatory approval process, Iberdrola committed to setting aside a $275 million pool of funds -- or Positive Benefits Adjustments (PBA) -- to keep customer rates low. At the time, Schumer said he would only support a deal containing provisions that would keep customer rates low. The final deal stipulated that a rate hike increase could not be requested for 13 months after the merger and that the $275 million Positive Benefits Adjustments be used to reduce rates or offset costs of the merger. Today, Schumer asked the PSC to determine whether the company was planning on using the $275 million in PBAs to offset the proposed rate hike, and if not, to determine how the company intended to use that fund.

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