New York Gov. Cuomo, National Grid reach deal on gas moratorium

NEW YORK (WABC) -- National Grid and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement Monday that would restore gas service to customers and applicants the utility had previously rejected.

National Grid will lift its moratorium immediately and will have 30 days to contact all residential customers and small businesses who need gas hookups, and 45 days for larger commercial projects.

The deal came after Cuomo threatened to revoke National Grid's certificate to operate, and after our own Eyewitness News investigation into why some residents and businesses were being denied gas service.

"This agreement is a victory for customers," Cuomo said. "National Grid will pay a significant penalty for its failure to address the supply issue, its abuse of its customers, and the adverse economic impact they have caused. The company is also working to address the long-term supply problem and will present options in the coming months to the people of Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island, letting them choose the best way forward for their communities."

To compensate customers who were adversely impacted by the moratorium, National Grid will pay a $36 million penalty that will also support new energy conservation measures and clean energy projects as directed by the New York State Division of the Budget in consultation with the Public Service Commission.

"We have worked hard to identify an innovative series of alternatives to meet growing demand," National Grid President John Bruckner said. "With this agreement, we will present options for long term supply solutions that ensure our customers have the service they require and desire."

As part of the agreement, National Grid will analyze and present viable options to address the long-term supply issue including: renewable energy sources, conservation strategies, a new pipeline, LNG facilities, CNG facilities and interoperable systems.

National Grid will analyze these options over the next three months and present them to the public through a series of public meetings in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. These meetings will be conducted in coordination with local elected officials.

The state will work with National Grid and local communities and elected officials to identify the best available long-term option by June 2020 to allow a safe and adequate construction and transition period so the option can be in place and functioning in Fall 2021.

The state will appoint a monitor to oversee National Grid's gas supply operations. The monitor will report to the state of New York and the Public Service Commission and will be paid for by National Grid.

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