Thursday, December 10, 2009

Con Ed Needs More Money From You

Con Ed is in the process of renewing its electric customer rate with NYS PSC. The docket is located at:

http://documents.dps.state.ny.us/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=09-E-0428

As shown, the application is for a sizeable increase. The top document (i.e., most recent of Dec 1st, #84) on this page provides notice of public hearings on this rate application, and includes a public hearing in Greenburgh on January 11th.

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The PSC is holding the hearings. A PSC (actually NYS Dep't. of Pub. Service) administrative law judge will preside to receive input on the rate increase proposal.

The document that is the basis for the proposed rate increase does not appear to have any direct reference to allocating funds for vegetation management. However, such fund allocation must occur, so commenting to PSC on the amount of funds & resources that Con Edison expends on vegetation management is appropriate. And, if the rate increase proposal is silent on this point, perhaps it needs to be added and made explicit.

This could go both ways, as a large fund allocation might imply cutting more trees. On the other hand, an adequate allocation should be made such that the utility does not perform a one-time cutting that is supposed to "last" 20 years.

Thanks to Chris Crane, Counsel, Committee on Environment & Energy, Westchester County Board of Legislators for this "heads up" alert to the upcoming rate hearings.

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