Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Con Ed Agrees to Freeze Rates—But Will Still Work on Infrastructure
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
After asking for a big rate hike to protect its infrastructure from storms, Con Edison has bowed to pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and agreed to a rate freeze.
Following Sandy, which knocked out power to nearly a million customers in New York City and Westchester, Con Edison drew up a $1 billion plan to make underground transformers submersible and to strengthen tunnels and walls.
To pay for it, Con Ed asked for an 8 percent rate hike.
But Cuomo blasted that idea. He said New Yorkers pay some of the highest electric bills in the country and "need to get more value."
Now, Cuomo and Con Ed have announced an agreement, subject to regulatory approval. Rates will be frozen for two to three years.
Con Ed says it will continue to strengthen infrastructure, but it isn't saying what upgrades, if any, might be left out because it didn't get the rate increase it initially requested.