Con Ed seeks new rate hike

November 25, 2009 3:48:28 PM PST
Bad news for your pocketbook if you're a Con Ed customer. The company is asking for a series of rate hike over the next three years. The biggest jump could come next year.

On 30th Avenue in Astoria, three years after the big blackout here, there's still a lot of anger at Con Ed, especially with the company again asking for more money.

"I think they have a lot of nerve, that's what I think," Michael Gileno said.

"They have no competition, so they do what they want. They get away with anything. They get away with murder," Fred Goglin said.

Instead of a one year increase, Con Ed is asking for a three year hike.

One plan calls for 4.3 percent each year, pushing the average monthly bill from $83.60 to almost 95 dollars.

Another plan calls for more in the first year, and then smaller annual hikes. That would push the average bill from $83.60 to about 93 a month.

But some politicians are calling a three year hike just plain stupid.

"If you give them three years before they have to come up with another increase, then if anything happens -- if somebody dies God forbid or if there's a blackout or if there's an electrocution, then three years from now it's forgotten," said Assemblyman Michael Gianaris.

For some, it's hard to stomach -- a hike, after so much bad news like the steam pipe explosion, the blackout of 2006, and dogs, even a person, getting electrocuted.

Con Ed says that's exactly why the company needs more money now.

"The maintenance that we do is specifically to avoid the kind of problems we have had in the past. Anything with reliability or maintenance problems is something the rate increase seeks to address," spokesman Mike Clendenin said.

So far, there's not much organized opposition to the rate hike, so if the increase is ultimately approved it would take effect this April.