NY auditors want look into National Grid costs

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- State auditors want an investigation into whether upstate New York customers of National Grid are paying an unfair share of the British utility's corporate costs in the Northeast region.

National Grid is proposing to boost electric rates in upstate New York by $369 million annually. The company says that would mean more revenue, but not higher bills for most customers as some debt due in 2011 would be refinanced and paid over four years.

The state Public Service Commission has not acted on last week's recommendation by its auditors for an investigation into National Grid's shared corporate services. The auditors said upstate New York customers were being assigned corporate costs that have nothing to do with utility operations locally.

Utility officials declined to respond to specific criticisms, saying they'll respond in written briefs.


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